Steps to Find Your Lost Puppy (Handling a Nightmare) | Herepup
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Steps to Find Your Lost Puppy (Handling a Nightmare)

It’s every dog owner’s worst fear: One day, your pooch has disappeared. This is especially nerve-racking when it’s a puppy, as the little guy may not have the savvy of an older dog to find his way home. What do you do if this happens to you?

Calmness is the Key

The first rule in finding a pup that’s gone astray is to keep calm. This may be easier said than done, but allowing yourself to work into a panicked frenzy is going to hamper your ability to locate your little buddy. By keeping a cool head, you’ll be able to process things logically and more deliberately, which ultimately will give you a much better chance of figuring out where your puppy may have wandered.

Create a Checklist and Follow it Diligently

Lost Puppy 2

There are many vital parts to conducting a thorough search for your lost puppy. It could be difficult to keep track of them all in your head, especially since you may be trying your best to keep your cool. Because of this, your best course of action at the start of your search is to take a minute and put together a checklist of steps to take.

The first step on this list is to do an exhaustive search of your property if you haven’t done so already. Puppies like to explore, and their wanderlust may lead them to wiggle their way into unorthodox or unusual spots in and around your home. If you can perceive his little frame fitting into a spot, don’t pass it by.

If your search takes you beyond your backyard, elevate things by getting the neighborhood involved. Talk to neighbors or anyone else that conducts business on the street (like a delivery person) to be on the lookout for your buddy, if they haven’t spotted him already. It’s also wise to reach out to your local shelter or the local police department to see if they’ve come across your pooch.

Making signs can also be an effective tool in tracking down your four-legged friend, and there is a proper method behind crafting a proper poster. Make each sign at least 28” x 22”, use fluorescent poster board, and make sure words like “Reward” and “Lost Dog” are placed prominently enough to where passers-by can clearly get the message. You should also include the most recent picture of your pup possible in the middle of the poster.

Technology That’s Gone to the (Lost) Dogs

Modern tech has also blossomed into effective tools that you can use to find your puppy - even if you’re not all that tech savvy. Online services and social media can be used to expand the scope of your dog search like never before. Plus, it almost goes without saying that the phrase “there’s an app for that” applies in this situation.

Prevent a Dog from Being Lost

The most effective step you can take in finding your dog is to take preventative measures that will eventually reunite him with you. These techniques go well beyond the realm of ensuring he can’t escape your property, as well they should. After all, you’d be surprised about how clever a puppy may get if he wants to explore the world beyond your fence.

The simplest step you can take is to affix a pet ID tag on his collar. If you want to take lost dog prevention to the next level, you can insert a tiny microchip under your puppy’s skin - a method that has grown into the most effective tool for pet unification. The bones of this technology have also been applied to GPS tech, as tracking devices can give you real-time information about your dog’s whereabouts delivered to your cell phone.

Don’t Give Up on the Goal

It may take hours, days, or even weeks to locate your lost puppy. However, don’t throw in the towel if your little buddy doesn’t turn up right away; patient persistence is sometimes a necessary component in a search for a lost dog, whether you’re dealing with a bright springy pup or a grizzled old canine. Besides, the endgame of the search process may come with being reunited with your little friend; that alone should be enough motivation for you to keep up the good search.


Laura Harris

Dr. Laura Harris is our resident dog health expert. She started to fact-check dog health-related information for HerePup during her internship and contributes since then. Her expertise is in dog nutrition, senior dog care, especially critical care medicine and internal medicine.

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