8 Tips on What To Do If Your Dog Is Missing

poster of missing dog

Where Is My Dog?

poster of missing dogYou’re having another wonderful day, when you decide to let your dog out, but he isn’t there. A bit of panic sets in, but not much because you are sure he is in the house somewhere hiding, sleeping or playing with a toy. You call him several times and there is no answer. Now you start to panic. You search around the house again and look towards the backyard.You hope he is out there. No, not there. Then you see it. The back door opened a crack, the hole in or under the fence, or the gate opened a bit. Now you really panic. Maybe you are on a large piece of land where your dog has many places to hide, or near train tracks or a busy road where he can get hurt. This article will provide some tips, other than posting to social media, posting signs and making lots of phone calls (all of which you should do), on what to do if your dog is missing.


How To Find Your Dog

We all know that your dog is your baby, fur friend, your best pal and sweetie, but to make reading easier, I will refer to your missing animal as a dog. I know you are beside yourself with worry knowing that your dog is out there alone, but I have some information that may help you that you may not have known about. It will only take a moment to read. If your dog isn’t missing at this time, that’s great!  Unfortunately, your dog may go missing one day.  It happens even to the most attentive, so print this out so you have it for that time when it does happen.  Make sure that if you have not done so already, that as soon as your friend is back home, that you read the 5 Things You Should Buy Before Bringing Home a New Dog. This will assist you in getting your dog back if someone finds him.



graphic of dog trackingI have been watching a show with Shelley on NatGeo Wild called Trackers. It is based in MD and they have tracking dogs that search for dogs, cats, ferrets, whatever, that have gone missing from their homes. I have learned some interesting things by watching that has helped other pet owners and I thought I would share.


What To Do Tips

1. Take a sheet, blanket or whatever with your scent on it and put it in strips starting at your house out to where your dog was last seen. About 20 feet or so apart.

canned cat food

2. Take a can of cat food and place it in a gallon milk jug and fill with water to create a chum. (Cat food apparently has a stronger scent than dog food). Pour this out in a line in several areas where your dog was last seen and lead to whatever you put out in step 1.

3. You can place a trap with cat food, a blanket, or a favorite toy inside it near the area that you have seen your dog.

a. Make sure you check it every morning or earlier.

b. Camouflage the trap and put some shade over it if you can.

c. Set a trail camera by the trap so you can see who is at the trap. They aren’t very expensive This is the one I use from link to Moultrie camera at walmartMoultrie.

d. Take a large piece of cardboard, dump flour or cornstarch on it with some cat food in the center. If your dog does show up, you will see the direction of the footprints. The trail camera will show you who visited.


4. If you do see your dog, DO NOT run towards it calling its name! On the show, they said if your dog has been missing over several days that it is in survival mode, may be disoriented and may not recognize you. Running after it will make him run. (I did not know that. I would think I would run back to my owner, but I saw this happen).

5. Sit down on the ground in the area you have seen your dog. Take some cat food with you. Wait for your dog to come up to you. It may not happen on the first day. You may also see your dog and he not come close enough to you for you to grab him. Be patient.

6. While you are sitting, just talk idly in a quiet voice and call your dog’s name. Iif you have a certain whistle that your dog knows – use it to call him. If you see your dog nearby, you can lie down (but keep looking at him, but not directly in the eye) and whimper as if you are injured. He may come to investigate.   Again, be patient. Wait for him to come to you.

7.  Don’t forget to contact shelters, rescues and animal control.  Tell your mailman, UPS and FedEx drivers. (My old UPS driver used to bring me a dog biscuit.  I sure do miss him).  As this video shows, many delivery drivers will know your pet and many pets will know them.  I’m sure they will keep an eye out for your dog.

8.  Make sure your neighbors keep a lookout when they are outside or driving in the area.

If you are unable to try these methods and are more comfortable with technology, then the best way to find a lost dog is to use apps and websites.  There are many out there.  One app I found to report lost dogs or to share that you have found a dog or other pet is PawBoost found on Google Play.


He’s Safe!

dog in a crateI hope these tips help you know what to do if your dog is missing and that you find your dog safe and sound. Don’t scold him, just bring him home, feed him and shower him with love.  Take him to the vet if he has been gone a long time or has any injuries.  And make sure to fix the reason he escaped in the first place.  After you get a chance to calm your dog and yourself, read about How To Track Your Dog Using Electronic Devices, coming soon.

I hope this helps someone and I hope your dog comes back home soon.


I like to hear from my readers.  Did you ever escape?  What strategies did your owners use to get you home?  Leave a comment below, so we can help others find their missing pet.

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