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Strategies for Recovering Your Lost Dog

Losing a pet is scary and upsetting. Being calm and logical will help you make the best decisions to help you get your beloved pet back home safely.

Recovering a lost dog isn’t impossible. Here are a few actions a dog owner should take:

  • Before your pet has time to roam too far, immediately begin searching within a two-mile radius from where your pet was last seen. Ask neighbors and friends to help you search the area.
  • Don’t forget your pet’s favorite treat or toy, and call out words they respond to, such as “toy” or “treat” along with their name.
  • If your pet is registered with AKC Reunite, call our PET Line at 800-252-7894 to let us know your pet is lost and so we can confirm your contact information is up-to-date.
  • Post a photo and a message of your dog on social media and ask local friends to share. Also, print lost pet posters that include your pet’s name, photo and phone number. (AKC Reunite makes it easy with our Lost Pet Alert).  Display the posters around the area your pet was last seen and include veterinarian offices and local parks.
  • Immediately contact all local shelters, humane societies, and the police to report your pet missing. Give them a photo and an accurate description of your pet: hair/coat length and color (don’t forget special markings), size, age and ear type (pointed, long, short, droopy). Continue to call shelter back on a daily basis and repeat this information since shelter staff can change from day to day.
  • Be persistent. Visit local shelters and humane societies daily to see if your pet is there. Repost on social media. Call for updates.

One way to increase the odds that you will be reunited with your dog is to have him microchipped. A veterinarian can insert a microchip under your dog’s skin. The chip has a unique number on it that can be picked up and read by a scanner.
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