Searching for Fido: Tips for Getting a Lost Dog Home - The Trupanion Blog
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Searching for Fido: Tips for Getting a Lost Dog Home

Image courtesy of Evgeni Dinev /
Image courtesy of Evgeni Dinev /

When you adopt a dog, they’re more than just an animal, they become part of your family. Unfortunately, family dogs get lost every day in the United States, but following the right steps helps ensure that you get your lost dog finds home quickly and safely.

Initial Search
Before getting too alarmed, search every part of your home, garage, outbuilding, sheds, and the surrounding property for your dog. Look under decks and any other hiding spaces where your dog may seek shelter. If you live in a residential neighborhood walk around the immediate area calling for your dog. You don’t want to instigate a major search only to find the dog hiding out at home.

Animal Shelters
If your initial search turns up empty and you suspect you’ve truly lost your dog, call up your local animal control offices and animal shelters. Leave a detailed description of what your dog looks like, how old the dog is, as well as what name they respond to. Animal shelters typically keep a list of lost animals, that’s checked each time a new animal is brought into the shelter. They will call you if they suspect your dog has been brought in.

Foot Search
After you contact the animal shelter, perform a larger foot search. Talk to neighbors or businesses in your area. Take a picture as well as a contact card to hand out to people you talk to so they know how to get a hold of you if they find your dog. If your dog has a favorite toy that makes noise, bring it with you and squeeze it periodically to attract your dog.

Create posters with a recent picture of your dog, along with a succinct and detailed description including color, weight, gender, size, and name of the dog. Make sure to point out any identifying or unique marks. If possible, offer a reward for finding the dog. A reward increases your chances of the dog being returned, however be aware of scammers who may call and give false hopes in an effort to steal the reward money.

Once you’ve found your dog, it’s important to take steps to prevent losing them in the future. Consider getting your dog micro-chipped. Unlike a collar, a chip cannot be lost, and increases the chances of getting your dog back. It’s also important to track down how your dog got out in the first place. You may need to better secure fencing, get a custom dog crate, or simply not leave your dog unattended while outside to keep your dog safely and securely on your property.

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