How to Find a Missing Dog?

How to Find a Missing Dog
Photo by Justin Aikin

A missing dog scenario tortures every dog owner, especially with the anxiety that comes with it. If you lost your dog recently, there’s a high probability that as you’re reading this, you’re likely panicking or consumed with fear.

Don’t panic! There’s a solution, as we’ll discuss how to find a missing dog in this article. Keep reading!

Steps to Take When Finding a Missing Dog

93% of missing dogs are usually found, so you have a high chance of reuniting with your dog. Here are the steps to take in finding your missing dog.

Check Your Home

Check your home and surroundings as soon as you notice your dog is missing. The reason is that they might be hiding or even got stuck somewhere!. So make sure you check your closets, cars, basements, and every place in the house.

If you’ve done this and they’re probably still hiding, use familiar scents to lure them out. Bring out their favorite delicacies or your clothes to attract them. If this doesn’t still work, follow the next step if your dog has a microchip.

Contact Your Missing Dog’s Microchip Company

You can call the microchip company to ensure your contact information is correct and updated. Tell them that your dog is missing so that shelters can notify them.

Register the microchip in a database with the dog’s microchip number and contact details. If you don’t do this, the microchip is useless.

However, note that your dog’s microchip company won’t alert you of its location. They can only scan the microchip ID to get your dog’s detail if they find your missing dog.

Check Your Dog’s Tag GPS

The work of a GPS tag is simply to find your dog’s location. But this is only for those who have provided their dog with a GPS tag locator or collar.

This step will give you accurate knowledge of where your dog has gone. The solution to how to find a missing dog is quite simple if a GPS tag is available. It makes everything relatively easier.

Since not all dogs have this option, follow other steps.

Check the Area Where the Dog Went Missing

Now, you need to widen your search radius and search thoroughly. In this case, it’s essential to:

  1. Whistle/Call your dog’s name calmly and clearly.
  2. Notify your family, neighbors, and others about your missing dog and ask them to join you in the search.
  3. Ensure your door is open and someone is at home to receive the dog. Who knows? They might just come back on their own.
  4. Drive through your neighborhood to cover more area.

Notify Local Shelters and Report Missing Dog

Ensure you alert organizations, such as animal control, dog wardens, and pet rescue centers, about your missing dog. Anyone who sees a dog, especially with no identification, will likely turn them in to these organizations.

Outreach on Social Media

Social media is one of the effective methods to find a missing dog. Announce on your social media platforms by sharing a post about your lost dog. To ensure a successful outcome, consider these tips:

  1. Keep your post short and simple: a lengthy post may discourage an online user from reading.
  2. Include vital information, like your dog’s name, time of disappearance, temperament, and where they were last seen.
  3. A recent photograph of your dog.
  4. For Facebook users, make the post public. You can also find Facebook groups where you can share posts about missing dogs around you.
  5. Your contact information, especially phone numbers, to be able to reach you.

Keep Your Phone Nearby

Another essential measure to find your missing dog is to ensure that your phone is not silent and is always with you.

The reason is that whenever someone finds your dog, they’ll check the tag for your contact to notify you. Also, don’t forget people from your social media platforms will call when they find something.

Therefore, your phone must be active to be aware of recent developments. It could be from the animal shelters, microchip companies, or the kind citizen that found your sweet pet.

Post and Distribute Missing Dog Posters

Make bright, colorful, and eye-catching flyers about your missing dog and post them around the neighborhood. It helps to put these flyers at locations with lots of traffic.

These include but are not limited to popular eatery or supermarkets, post office, or grocery stores. Also, note other places where people live or work regularly and will have the chance to see them.

Your posters, however, might not give a good result if it doesn’t contain essential information such as: 

  • Special features of your dog
  • Last location of your dog
  • Details on the collar tag
  • Microchip ID number
  • Photos of your dog
  • Your contact information 
  • Reward Details

Stay Persistent

You tried all the steps to find a missing dog, yet there’s no positive outcome, don’t give up. Many dog parents usually find their pets later after a long time. So, don’t worry; keep trying and be sure you’ll find your dog one day. 

Watch Out for Missing Dog Scams

You’re freaking out and frustrated about your missing dog, but some people would take advantage of that. Ensure you protect yourself, and you’re extra careful when anyone contacts you concerning your dog.

Also, meet the finders in public places during the day and don’t go alone. You can also verify if anyone is with your pet by telling them to take a picture of it on their mobile phones and send it to you.

Above all, be careful of fraudsters and their cunning methods. Most of them will tell you to pay an amount before releasing your dog; they don’t even have it. So, don’t agree to make any upfront payment without getting your dog first.

Congratulations! You Have Found your Dog – What To Do

Now that you have reunited with your dog, there are a few things you have to do.

  • Clean them up
  • Remove the posters and flyers and update the posts you put on social media 
  • A quick trip to the vet!


We believe that this post on how to find a missing dog helps you. Try all steps for an effective result, and you’ll be smiling at your pet in no time. We’ll also love you to share your thoughts in the comments section below. Thanks for reading!

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