There are some affiliate links below, but they are all products I highly recommend. For more info, view my disclosure here.

It’s such a scary feeling when your pup manages to sneak away, isn’t it? Whether they jumped out of the car, climbed the fence, or dashed out the front door, the best thing to do is to act quickly and stay calm. These 4 tips will help you bring your lost dog home safely.

Keep Their Leash/Harness/Treats Easily Accessible

If your dog is running loose, the last thing you want to be dealing with is struggling to secure your pup once you find them. Keeping these in an organizer in a set location is a perfect way to ensure they’ll be easy to grab when you need them. This is a great help for natural disasters, too, which we learned when we had an earthquake and almost had to evacuate in the middle of the night due to a tsunami warning!

Post Your Lost Dog on Social Media and Contact Local Animal Control and Shelters

If your dog runs away from home, post a heads up on your neighborhood social media groups. Facebook groups and are great resources for getting the word out and having extra eyes searching. Also call your local animal shelters and animal control to see if your dog has been located already.

Have Clear, Recent Face and Full-Body Photos

I’ve seen so many lost dog social media posts and flyers with photos that make it difficult for strangers to identify the dog. Sharing clear, recent face and full-body photos help show off unique markings and other features. This will help strangers to be able to identify your dog and reunite them with you!

Set Up a Crate With An Article of Clothing and Water

If you haven’t had luck finding your dog and it’s getting dark, set up a dog crate with an article of clothing you’ve recently worn. Include a bowl of water, but skip the food as you don’t want to attract wildlife. Leave a note on top of the crate to prevent anyone from taking the crate.

Prevention Is The Best Way To Keep Them From Getting Lost

Walk your fence line regularly to make sure there’s no gaps they can sneak out. Consider putting a sign to remind mowers or other personnel requiring backyard access to close/lock the gate, but ALWAYS double check when you know someone has been in the backyard. Microchip your pets and keep the record updated. So many happy endings have been thanks to a microchip with current records.

Always Keep a Collar With a Current Tag On Your Dog

This is the easiest way to help your dog find their way back home is to keep a collar with current tag on them at all times. For a nice, quiet tag that doesn’t clink, I recommend Boomerang Tags. I use the CollarTag for adjustable collars on both Roxy and Rico and they work great! I love that it’s secure and won’t fall off, and it’s silent! No hearing tags clinking around at 3 in the morning is so nice, and they work on most collars.

What Do I Do If I Find a Lost Dog?

If you happen to find a lost dog, the best thing to do is to take it to a local vet. They’ll be able to scan for a microchip and hopefully reunite the dog with their family nice and quick! If that’s not an option, you can have it scanned at animal control instead. If it’s not microchipped, you can contact local vets to see if they have reports of a lost dog. You also want to post photos of the dog on social media pages. Sadly, some people have been known to try and scam for free dogs, so please verify anyone claiming ownership by asking them to confirm any identifying marks, or show older photos of the dog.

Hopefully you never need to use these tips and your pups stay safe, but if it does happen, taking these steps will help get your dog back home.