What should I do if I've lost my dog?
One of the first things you should do when you get a dog is microchip them and ensure they are wearing a dog collar and dog ID tag with your contact details on.
Searching for your dog
The moment you realise your dog is missing is the time to get out there and start searching. Don't sit back and wait thinking they will return, this can waste valuable time and gives them the chance to get further away. Walk around your local area calling your dog's name, they might not have gone far. Visit places they might be attracted to, such as the local park they regularly walk on, or fast food places if they are food orientated.
If you have recently moved, go back to your old address. It may be that your dog has found their way "home". If there are nearby building works ask workmen to keep an eye out. It is possible your dog has sought shelter, or become trapped.
Get the word out that your dog is lost
It is important to get the word out as quickly as possible that your dog is lost. Call the database that holds their microchip details to let them know. Contact the dog warden, local vets in your local and surrounding areas. Dogs can travel quite far when they want to! Boarding kennels and other pet related businesses are other good ports of call too.
Ask your vets, supermarkets, newsagents, libraries if you can put a lost dog poster in their window. Lost dog posters can be attached to lamp posts.
Social media is an extremely effective way of getting the word out there. It is fast moving and far reaching. Post to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so that your friends and followers can help in your search.
Check your dog's insurance policy. Many policies include covering your costs should your pet go missing or is stolen. This can help cover the cost of advertising your lost dog and any reward offered.
Some dogs can get lost despite our best efforts, however there are some things you can do to minimise the risk of this happening. Always ensure they are wearing a dog collar and identity tag. Don't let your dog off the lead unless they have a reliable recall. Don't leave your dog alone in the garden unless it is completely safe, from them escaping and others entering.
Never take your dog shopping with you or to any other place they may not be allowed entry, such as restaurants. Dogs should never be tied to a lamp post or left unattended in a car.
What should I do if I find a lost dog?
First of all, check to see if he is wearing any identity and inform the owner. If that isn't possible then you have a legal requirement to contact the local authority dog warden who will arrange for the dog to be collected while they search for it's owner.