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Has Your Dog Run Away? Don’t Panic! Here’s What You Can Do

Dogs are part of the family, so it’s only rational to get upset if one goes missing. It’s an unfortunate, if common, experience that most pet owners go through at one point or another. Luckily, there are many things you can do to keep your pets safe. There are also quite a few pet care services you can take advantage of to get your best friend back home as quickly as possible. Read on to learn more:

1. Check Places That Are Part of Your Dog’s Regular Routine

The ASPCA reports that 49% of lost dogs are found within their own neighborhoods. Dogs tend to go to the areas they have been before, so start by checking the other yards near your home that have animals. Chances are your pup started on their normal walking route and got distracted along the way. 

2. Post About Your Pup on Social Media

Nextdoor and Pawboost are great platforms for finding lost pets. Both of these services get information out to people in your local area. Nextdoor is a more generalized neighborhood social media service, while Pawboost uses Facebook to post lost pet advertisements for local users to see.

First, browse through recent posts to make sure no one has already spotted your dog. If you don’t see anything promising, make a post describing your dog, and include at least one photo. Don’t forget to explain what your dog responds to. For example, should people whistle or call their name? Jingle a leash? Hold out a treat? The more information you can provide the better.

3. Distribute Flyers 

Posting flyers as soon as possible can help, as well. Though social media gets the information out to a lot of people quickly, flyers around your neighborhood or in areas your dog often likes to go is a good way to get people’s attention in the real world. It’s hard for people to keep a Facebook post in the back of their mind for long. Flyers remind pedestrians to be on the lookout while they’re out and about. 

4. Inform Local Law Enforcement

Do not call 911, but do contact your local police station. They will often put an alert out to officers to keep a look out when they are patrolling. Additionally, when people find a pet running loose, many contact their local authorities. If someone reports your dog the police department will then have it on file. Even if they don’t have your pet yet, you should leave your cell phone and contact information with them just in case. It’s important to report your lost dog to the police promptly to give yourself the best possible chance of being reunited with your loved one. 

5. Offer a Small Reward 

Including a small reward in all your postings is a great way to motivate people to look for your pup. Chances are they’ll be more inclined to give any animals they come across a second glance if they know there’s an award. 

6.  Check the Local Shelter and Humane Society 

As soon as you realize your dog has gotten loose, call your local shelter and/or the nearest humane society. Give them a description of your dog, and keep in regular contact thereafter. Should anyone drop off a pup that looks like yours, you’ll want to be the first to know. 

It’s also worth visiting the facility in person. Shelters tend to be understaffed, so your dog may actually be there, but the employees might have overlooked him or her amidst the shuffle.

7. Enlist Help from a Professional Pet Finder 

If your pet has been missing for a long time, don’t lose hope! You can hire a professional pet finder to help. They work with shelters and veterinarians, and they have lots of tricks of the trade to find missing pets. Some even employ other animals that can literally sniff out the target, wherever they’ve ended up. Don’t panic either if you don’t get your dog back within a few days; All is not lost! Oftentimes our furry friends are reunited with owners weeks, months, or even years later, so keep the faith!

Is Your Dog Getting Loose Often? Try Hiring a Pet Sitter 

Boredom and anxiety are the most common reasons why dogs end up getting loose. Even in a loving home where they get plenty of attention, it’s not unheard of for a dog to jump over or dig under a fence when things are particularly busy for the humans of the household. 

Thankfully, ESP Pet Specialists can help! We provide exercise and socialization for dogs, as well as other pets, to keep them happy on days when you’re unable to provide all the attention they deserve. Our pet care services include dog walking, boarding, and more for those in the Livingston, NJ, area. Contact us with any inquiries here or by phone at (973) 577-1110. 

Your pet deserves the best possible care from a true pet care professional. Evan Perlman is the owner and lead pet specialist at ESP Pets. After an early start with a local doggie daycare, Evan's love of working with pets culminated with his appointment as program manager providing pet services for United Airlines at Newark Liberty and O’Hare International Airports. The entrepreneurial bug then bit, and ESP Pet Specialists was born! View Profile

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