It’s every dog owner’s worst nightmare. They come home or call their dog in from the yard, but their pooch is nowhere to be seen. They’re gone. They’re lost.
It’s hard not to take it personally, even if you have one of the dog breeds that run away. But dogs are curious creatures and they love to explore. Your pooch doesn’t understand the anxiety they put you through if they disappear. They also don’t realize they may not be able to find their way back home or could be picked up by someone else, or worse.
Luckily, our tech-filled world gives dog owners more ways to find a lost dog, sometimes just minutes after they go missing. Here are four modern-day solutions that can reunite a dog owner with their missing pooch.
Any dog collar is better than none, but today collars go well beyond a tag with printed contact information. There are a number of tracking collars that leverage technology to find dogs fast.
Which tracking collar will work best depends on your dog and the situation where they’re most likely to get lost. Basic GPS tracking collars that sync with your smartphone work in most scenarios. However, specialized devices like the Garmin Astro dog tracking combo may be more appropriate if you regularly take your dog hunting or camping.
They’ll be more expensive than a traditional collar, but if your furry friend goes missing a tracking collar will be worth every penny. Do your research and read reviews before deciding which tracking collar will work best. Also, keep in mind the tracking collar will help you, but it won’t help someone else who finds your dog. Your pooch still needs to have an ID tag attached to the tracking collar.
Check the Microchip
Hopefully you got your dog microchipped already. Microchipping your dog may sound inhumane, but it’s actually one of the nicest things you could ever do for your dog. A microchip significantly increases the chances that you’ll be reunited with your lost dog.
Many lost dogs are picked up by good samaritans or local animal control and brought to an animal shelter. There the workers try to figure out who the owner is. One quick and easy way to do this is check the dog’s microchip.
A microchip is a tiny glass tube with a radio transmitter that’s the size of a rice grain. The microchip also has an electronic device with the dog’s ID code. When the microchip is implanted the ID is paired with the owner’s name and contact information. All the animal shelter has to do is scan the dog for the microchip to pull up the information and give you a call.
Put a Notice on Nextdoor and Social Media
Nextdoor is the modern day version of posting paper flyers around the neighborhood. It’s a social site organized into neighborhood groups. You can send messages to people in the group (i.e. your neighborhood), and finding lost dogs is one of the best uses for the tool.
However, the one downside is that not everyone in the neighborhood will be signed up on Nextdoor. You can expand your search party by also posting information on social media. If your neighborhood or HOA has a Facebook page add a message with a picture asking for everyone to be on the lookout. Do the same on Instagram and Twitter. Utilize every platform you can to increase the odds that someone will get the notice and provide information.
Put Up Flyers Around the Neighborhood
This old-school tactic is still very useful today. A dog that’s roaming around the neighborhood could be seen by someone just passing through and a flyer could be the only way they know the dog is lost.
You can go high-tech with your flyers by including a QR code with additional pictures and information. You may also want to set up an email account or social media account where people can contact you in addition to adding your phone number.
Finding a lost dog has evolved over the years. However, owners have to take the precautions above before they run off to make use of modern day dog finding technology.