Your stomach drops. Your heart stops. Your mind races with “what ifs.” You’ve lost your best furry friend. Don’t panic (easier said than done, we know!). Instead, get to work finding Fido.
An open gate, a dropped leash, an enticing squirrel — all of these can result in a lost dog or cat. What do you do?
- Begin searching ASAP. Grab a leash and search the immediate area. Most pets stay close to the spot where they become lost; the longer your pet is gone, the further she can go and the more dangers she’ll encounter.
- Leave scent-heavy items, food, and water outside. Pets respond to the familiar smell of home — and food. Consider placing scent items, such as bedding, in a humane trap.
- Open up. Leave your gate or door open; many pets return on their own. If this isn’t safe, leave a friend home to watch for your lost dog or cat, answer calls, and field email/social media reports.
- Lure them back. Load up on high-value treats. If you see your pet, proceed slowly. Don’t run — that’ll either scare your pet or seem like a fun game of chase.
Kneel down, look slightly away, and offer treats. If this isn’t working, slowly move towards him in an arc. Use a slip leash to safely tether your pet.
- Get the word out. Talk to neighbors, call your friends, post on social media (encouraging people to share). Do everything you can to spread the word that your pet is missing. The more eyes looking, the better.
- Contact local animal shelters, humane societies, and vets. According to ASPCA research, one of the most critical steps in finding lost pets is checking in with shelters. Report your missing friend immediately — and keep checking back.
- Make sure your ID and registration information is up to date. Does your pet have a microchip, license, or tattoo? If so, contact your municipality to ensure the information is accurate so people can contact you if they find Fido. If you are not sure if you registered the microchip, license, or tattoo, call your vet. They should have that info on record.
Is Your Pet Licensed with DocuPet?
When your pet is lost, don’t waste time. If she’s registered with DocuPet, she has a unique identifying code (which is engraved on her tag). It links to her online profile, so you can spread the word electronically that you need help.
Submit a Lost Pet Report! Just login to your DocuPet account, select the pet who is missing, and click the Report Lost Pet button. In seconds, you accomplish key tasks automatically, including:
- Notifying the DocuPet team. We’ll post a Lost Pet Report on the DocuPet website and across social media channels. More eyes.
- Contacting your local animal shelter. If your pet is found, they may be taken here.
- Informing your community. Share details on where she was last seen, photos, and select contact information.
A clear head, and a good plan, will help you find your lost dog or cat. Stay calm, get help, and keep looking.