What to do if your dog goes missing

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by MiffyMoo, Dec 7, 2017.


  1. MiffyMoo

    MiffyMoo PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2015
    Messages:
    9,286
    Likes Received:
    14,755
    As I'm watching Lost and Found, I thought it would be a good idea to do a post on what to do if your dog goes missing, as I have learnt loads of tips whilst watching it. And, needless to say, if your dog does go missing, you tend to go into panic mode and forget everything.

    So I thought maybe a checklist would help:

    • Post on DogLost http://www.doglost.co.uk/ - they have a wonderful link where you can print off Lost posters. Put these up everywhere you can in your local area, including your corner shop, pet shops etc. It is believed that dogs will stick to their local area if they go missing.
      • It is actually a great idea to create a profile now, as you won't be in the right frame of mind to do it if your dog does go missing
    • Speak to all your neighbours
    • Contact all local vets
    • Contact all local rescue centres
    • Contact all local kennels
    • Contact the police
    • Contact the Dog Warden - contact details can be found on your local council website
    • Contact all local dog walkers and doggy day care centres
    • Log onto the chip website, as they have a Lost section
      • If you don't know where your chip is registered, you can check it here https://www.check-a-chip.co.uk/
      • If you don't know your chip number, your vet should have it
    • When searching, look in places that offer good coverage, as they will look for somewhere safe to hole up
    • Search by bins where there made be a lot of food (such as behind shops), as this is a great place for them to scavenge
    • Obviously this is prior to them going missing - but make sure that your dog chip details are up to date
    • Post on all Social media
    • If there are any building sites or workmen in your area, ask around in case your dog has become trapped somewhere on site
    Don't forget that a dog may go into survival mode (the point in time where a dog enters Survival Mode is different for every dog. For some – it is instantaneous. For others – it can take days or a week or more to kick in). This is when you have to remember that you are not looking for your dog, you are looking for A dog.

    A dog that has entered Survival Mode prioritises things in the following order: Survival, Food, Water, Shelter. When a dog has entered survival mode, very often EVERY human is viewed as a predator – even the one that has fed, loved, walked, bathed and pampered them.

    Do not run after your dog, calling its name. People yelling (calling a pets name), shaking a food container (loud noises), cars, other dogs barking and pursuing, squeaking toys, a door slamming – these will all invite a fight or flight response. In most (95%+) this will result in a flight response rather than fight. With survival (safety) being the first concern, oftentimes, when a dog in survival mode sees, hears or smells something familiar to them, they will do the exact opposite of what you would expect. They will leave the area and avoid it in the future, as there will now be a negative connotation to that particular spot.

    Here is a really helpful post that I found:

    On day 12 of searching for my dog in a heavily wooded area, distraught and hopeless, I ran into a couple of hunters. They said they lost the occasional dog on a hunt but always got them back. What they told me has helped many dogs and families be reunited. I’ve given their advice out a few times in the last couple days, so I thought if reddit has any lost dogs out there, this could help:

    The dog owner(s) should take an article of clothing that has been worn at least all day, the longer the better, so the lost dog can pick up the scent.

    Bring the article of clothing to the location where the dog was last seen and leave it there. Also, if the dog has a crate & familiar toy, you can bring those too (unless location undesirable for crate). You might also want to leave a note requesting item(s) not to be moved.

    Leave a bowl of water there too, as the dog probably hasn’t had access to any. Do not bring food as this could attract other animals that the dog might avoid.

    Come back the next day, or check intermittently if possible. Hopefully the dog will be waiting there.

    I was skeptical and doubted my dog would be able to detect an article of clothing if he didn’t hear me calling his name as loud as possible all day for 12 days. But I returned the next day and sure enough found him sitting there!
     
    #1 MiffyMoo, Dec 7, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
  2. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2016
    Messages:
    3,770
    Likes Received:
    6,448
    I wonder if this could be made a sticky? I see @StormyThai is online just now ..
     
  3. Gemmaa

    Gemmaa PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2009
    Messages:
    4,771
    Likes Received:
    3,097
    Ah sensible list, my immediate reaction to the title was "panic, and check fences" :Shamefullyembarrased
     
    Sproglet and MiffyMoo like this.
  4. Dr Pepper

    Dr Pepper Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2017
    Messages:
    2,486
    Likes Received:
    3,897
    I’ve only lost a dog for any length of time once, then I just went back to the village shop where I tied him up three hours earlier and got him back.
     
  5. PawsOnMe

    PawsOnMe PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2012
    Messages:
    3,052
    Likes Received:
    2,958
    Brilliant post!

    I've never really given much thought about what I'd do if they got lost so this is really helpful.

    Going to get mine their chips scanned at the vets too as I know Jasper's is on the move somewhere down his front legs and phone numbers might need updating.
     
    DaisyBluebell and MiffyMoo like this.
  6. MiffyMoo

    MiffyMoo PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2015
    Messages:
    9,286
    Likes Received:
    14,755
    When my two got out, I actually checked in the wardrobe. Three times. You just completely lose your mind and run around like a headless chicken, sobbing.
     
    Gemmaa likes this.
  7. MiffyMoo

    MiffyMoo PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2015
    Messages:
    9,286
    Likes Received:
    14,755
    It really is the best thing you can do. Mine didn't have their collars on when they got out, but they were taken to the local vet who scanned them and immediately called me.
     
    DaisyBluebell and PawsOnMe like this.
  8. MiffyMoo

    MiffyMoo PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2015
    Messages:
    9,286
    Likes Received:
    14,755
    :Hilarious Muppet!
     
    Dr Pepper likes this.
  9. Cleo38

    Cleo38 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2010
    Messages:
    12,326
    Likes Received:
    3,418
    I would also add that it's a good idea to add details of your dog/s now rather than at the time they actually do go missing. You will probably be so stressed at that point that providing relevant info & uploading pics might be too much to do.
     
    StormyThai and MiffyMoo like this.
  10. MiffyMoo

    MiffyMoo PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2015
    Messages:
    9,286
    Likes Received:
    14,755
    Good idea, I'll edit it now
     
  11. DaisyBluebell

    DaisyBluebell Earth, the insane asylum of the Universe

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2017
    Messages:
    1,096
    Likes Received:
    1,361
    I am going to print that off and add all relevant numbers to it as insurance. Thank you so much for posting. It would be really good as a Sticky as already said.
    It scares me to death thinking about Emma going off as she is a Lurcher & if spotted by the 'wrong' people I know full well I would not be getting her back :Arghh & would spend the rest of my life worrying about her !

    Have just printed off adding all my local numbers required - please God I never need to use them
     
    #11 DaisyBluebell, Dec 7, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
    MiffyMoo likes this.
  12. StormyThai

    StormyThai Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2013
    Messages:
    6,782
    Likes Received:
    12,388
    Great idea to have a list that people can run through so I have "stuck" the thread :)
    I've actually got a Dogslost post all set up so that if Thai ever went missing (highly unlikely but you never know) I can quickly put up the dogslost post instead of having to do it in a panic.
     
    CuddleMonster, JoanneF and MiffyMoo like this.
  13. MiffyMoo

    MiffyMoo PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2015
    Messages:
    9,286
    Likes Received:
    14,755
    My first stickyyy!!

    It makes so much sense, as I was in such a state that I swear it took me about an hour to do mine.
     
    JoanneF and StormyThai like this.
  14. Teddy-dog

    Teddy-dog PetForums Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2017
    Messages:
    254
    Likes Received:
    457
    Great thread. This is something i thought about when we got Teds, as he was a Spanish street dog you never know. He does seem to stick by us but he's not offlead yet and it is a worry of mine!

    Thanks for putting it together :)
     
    MiffyMoo likes this.
  15. DaisyBluebell

    DaisyBluebell Earth, the insane asylum of the Universe

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2017
    Messages:
    1,096
    Likes Received:
    1,361
    Right now off to do a Dogslost thingy then as well
     
    StormyThai and MiffyMoo like this.
  16. DaisyBluebell

    DaisyBluebell Earth, the insane asylum of the Universe

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2017
    Messages:
    1,096
    Likes Received:
    1,361
    Oooh do you get a prize now ;)
     
  17. MiffyMoo

    MiffyMoo PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2015
    Messages:
    9,286
    Likes Received:
    14,755
    I demand a dozen Krispy Kremes!
     
    DaisyBluebell and JoanneF like this.
  18. ouesi

    ouesi Wag More Bark Less

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2011
    Messages:
    20,972
    Likes Received:
    30,610
    My dogs have all been defective as I couldn't lose them if I tried LOL.
    Years ago we accidentally left the house with Bates still outside. None of our yard is fenced, nor is any of the property. I have no idea what he did all day, but when we came home he greeted us happily trotting down the driveway to meet the car :Woot Of course I was totally freaked out to see him outside instead of safely inside where I thought I had left him, but there ya go. The other 3 we had at the time were inside acting like nothing was wrong either. Knowing them they were probably glad to be rid of the PITA dog for a day :Wacky

    I've also been known to stand on the porch calling the dogs only for them to be inside looking at me like I'm addled. Which they're not wrong about...
     
    DaisyBluebell and StormyThai like this.
  19. DaisyBluebell

    DaisyBluebell Earth, the insane asylum of the Universe

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2017
    Messages:
    1,096
    Likes Received:
    1,361
    I think you deserve them :)
     
    MiffyMoo likes this.
  20. Tyton

    Tyton PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2013
    Messages:
    2,585
    Likes Received:
    5,107
    Couple of other things to add:

    Take regular photographs so folks know what your dog looks like now (markings change, shape/size varies, etc)
    we also have a 'jar' for each dog containing a flannel that has been rubbed all over each individual dog, then double clingfilmed and some groomed hair so we have some ready-done scent items particular to that dog (useful if you have a multidog household) as this can be used by tracker dogs to hopefully help find your dog. (we refresh the scent every 2-3 weeks)

    In terms of Social media - find out if you have a local group specialising in lost pets (here on the IOW we are lucky enough to have a large fb group for lost pets to use to raise awareness and a large band of members who are able/willing to help search if that is indicated, as well as the Wight Dog Trackers whose scent dogs can go out to help - with scent items as above).
    The post re the hunters above is very useful, shelter/bed smelling of the dog/owner is useful to 'lure' a dog back to where it was last seen

    great post - and a useful resource for a time when you will probably be in a blind panic (I know I would be!)