My dog is lost...

What should I do?

Start your search not wait!

Most importantly, begin searching for your pet immediately. Do not wait several days expecting your pet to return home before beginning your search.
Check the neighborhood thoroughly. Whistling, calling, walking and driving are still the best first steps to finding a lost pet. Be sure to drive around at night, also; a pet that is frightened or is seeking shelter from heat or cold may hide.
Talk to neighbors, leaving a description of your pet with as many people as you can. The more "eyes" watching for your pet, the better. Neighborhood children can be especially helpful. Let your mail person know about your missing pet; postal carriers cover a lot of territory. Check local playgrounds, shopping centers, parks and other places where crowds gather.

Do you have a T-shirt or a piece of clothing that have your smell??? If you don???t??? you can always wear a t-shirt and jog around the block until you feel the shirt has absorbed enough of your sweat. Place the used shirt on a stick on your front yard or any other location you might feel appropriate for your dog to find home. As you probably already know the most powerful tool a dog have is his nose and many have found their way home by it.

Check with the animal shelters

Leave a complete description of your pet in case he/she is brought in to them. You should also visit the shelters and continue to visit regularly, as they receive new animals daily and only you know exactly what your pet looks like.
Check with nearby veterinary clinics in case your pet has been injured and transported to the clinic by a passer-by.

Get the word out

Consider making and posting flyers in shopping centers, on telephone poles, in veterinary offices, pet stores and grooming parlors in your area. Include a detailed description and the name of your pet. Your pet will be more likely to approach a stranger if called by name. If possible, include a clear, reproducible photo. Provide a copy of the flyer to mail carriers, newspaper carriers, utility service people, etc.
Advertise in local newspapers. Also, watch the "Found" ads and respond to any that may possibly be your pet. After a week of wandering, your white poodle may look like a "grey mixed breed."

Contact local radio or TV stations that broadcast lost pet reports.

Above all, don't give up searching for your lost pet after just a few days or even weeks. Your pet may wander or may be kept by someone for some time before being turned in to a shelter.

Even if your pet was wearing tags, there is always a chance that they were lost or that someone took them off. This is why many shelter animals are tattooed before being released for adoption.


Keep your pet properly confined at all times: indoors, on a leash, or in a securely - fenced area. (If fenced, check routinely for holes between and under the fence, loose gate latches, etc.) Be aware when service people visit your home or yard; they may leave gates open.

Make sure that your pet wears current license and ID tags at ALL times. ID tags are available from many places that sell pet supplies. Be sure to keep a written record of the tag numbers; this information is essential in the event that your pet should become lost.
Have your pet tattooed or micro-chipped, to enable positive identification (see your veterinarian about this).
Have a written description (size, weight, color, markings) and current black and white, as well as color photos of your pet on hand. Be sure to leave this information, along with license and ID tag numbers, with anyone entrusted with the care of your pet while you are away.