One of the most important things you can do to keep a lost dog in an area is to put out food. No bowl required. Stock up at the grocery store on the little pull top plastic containers of wet dog or cat food. They are inexpensive and easy to carry in your pocket. Beef is usually best. Chicken or fish may attract more cats and raccoons. Don’t use dry dog or cat food. It doesn’t have enough odor to attract the dog.
When there is a sighting of your dog – immediately go to the location and put down one container of food. Don’t call the dog or approach it. Leave the area and check the container in a few hours or the next day. If the food is gone, this is a good location for a trail camera and a trap. A steady source of small amounts of tasty food will keep a lost dog in one location, making him much easier to catch.