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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 tips will help you bring your lost dog home safely. I also have some suggestions at the bottom for what to do if you find a lost dog!

Lost Dog Kit

  1. Boomerang Tags – Silent, Durable, and Will Not Fall Off 
  2. Adjustable Dog Collar
  3. Sterilite 3 Drawer Organizer
  4. Heavy-Duty Folding Metal Dog Crate
  5. Keep Gate Closed Sign

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 dog once you find them. 

Keeping your dog’s leash, harness, and favorite treats 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 Nextdoor.com 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.

Make sure to regularly check in with animal control, as they often only have 3-day hold times before starting to process a found dog for adoption. 

It’s a very fast turnaround given the lack of extra facilities they tend to have. Once a dog is adopted out to a new family, it’s extremely difficult to get them back. 

Even worse, some shelters will put dogs to sleep after that time period if they don’t feel they can be adopted out easily. This means it’s vital to check in with them ASAP and often!

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 outside 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 Your Dog 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 mowing companies or other personnel requiring backyard access to close/lock the gate. 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 a 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 To Do If You Find a Lost Dog

Found a pup, and wondering what to do with a lost dog? 

If you happen to find a lost dog, the best thing to do is keep them safe from running off into the road. If you find a dog near your house, and you have a fenced yard, you can bring the dog into the yard to keep them safe.

The perfect option 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. That’s often the first place dog owners turn to when their dog gets out. Check NextDoor and local Lost/Found Pets pages to see if they’ve already posted about their missing fur baby, and if not, go ahead and post!

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.

Can I Keep a Lost Dog

Sometimes, we come across a lost dog that is just perfect! However, that dog has a home and a family that love them. It’s only right to do everything possible to reunite the dog with their family. You’d want the same if your baby got out, after all!

Where Can I Take a Lost Dog

A nearby vet’s office is the best place to bring a dog you’ve found. They’ll have a safe place to keep the dog if you’re unable to hold them. Plus, they’ll be able to scan for a microchip, and they may even know the dog if they’re a regular at that vet’s office!

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