hso-lost

Your pet is counting on you to bring them home safely! Please follow these tips to bring them home as soon as possible.

What to do if your pet is lost:

  1. Talk to each of your neighbors personally as soon as possible.  Show them a picture of your pet and leave your name and phone number.  You might be able to find them before they leave your neighborhood!
  2. Place clothing you have worn, a pillowcase you have slept on, the pet’s bedding or anything else that might have a scent the pet is used to near your front door to help your pet locate their home again should they be nearby.
  3. Visit your local animal shelter to ask if any pets fitting your description have been brought in and to alert them that your pet is missing.  Simply calling the shelter may not be enough since many pets may fit the same description.  If you don’t find your pet leave them a picture and your contact information.
  4. Contact or visit your local rescue organizations, providing them with a picture and your contact information.  Your pet could easily have been picked up and turned into a rescue organization instead of a shelter.
  5. Check the following networks.  If you don’t see your pet listed as ‘found’ submit at least one picture (several from different angles are even better), a written description, where they were lost and your contact information.
  6. Check your local Craigs List for reports of missing pets or pets for sale.  There are dishonest people that will sell pets rather than report them missing.  Check both to see if your pet has been located.  If you find your pet for sale and have pictures proving it is your pet you can contact your local police to get help in recovering your pet.
  7. Post flyers that show at least one picture of your pet, lists a detailed physical description and your contact information in as many places in your neighborhood and even surrounding neighborhoods as possible.  Here’s a flyer to get you started:
    • Lost FlyerWord Document for easy digital changes.
    • Lost FlyerPDF Document for quick printing.
  8. Most importantly – DON’T GIVE UP, KEEP LOOKING

What to do if you have found a lost pet:

  1.  Talk to each of your neighbors personally as soon as possible.  Show them a picture of the pet and leave your name and phone number.  You might be able to help find their home within your own neighborhood!
  2. Take the pet to a local vet or animal shelter to have them scanned for a microchip.  If a microchip is found, they can be quickly reunited with their owners.
  3. Take a picture, detailed description of the pet, where they were found and your contact info to your local animal shelter in case the owner comes there to look for them.   Click here for a comprehensive list of shelters local to you.
  4. Contact or visit your local rescue organizations, providing them with a picture and your contact information in case the owner look for them there.
  5. Check the following networks.  If you don’t see the pet listed as ‘lost’ submit at least one picture (several from different angles are even better), a written description, where they were found and your contact information.
  6. DO NOT post the pet on your local Craig’s List!  Although this may seem like a good idea, there are people that look for pets to use as dog-fighting bait on this site and it is not a safe method to use.  It should only be used to look for a lost pet, not post one!
  7. Post flyers that show at least one picture of the pet, lists a detailed physical description and your contact information in as many places in your neighborhood and even surrounding neighborhoods as possible.  Here’s a flyer to get you started:
  8. Most importantly – ASK FOR PROOF OF OWNERSHIP!  Remember, this pet’s safety is dependent on you.   If you are unsuccessful in finding it’s original home you can ask your local animal rescue organization to do a courtesy posting on PetFinder to assist in finding a new home.  Please be careful when interviewing potential owners to avoid an abusive situation for the pet.

 How to keep your pet from becoming lost:

home again_1

  1. A dog being scanned for a microchip.

    A dog being scanned for a microchip.

    Microchip your pet!  A tiny implantation under your pet’s skin (about the size of a grain of rice) can help you locate your pet and save their life!  This implantation does not track their location, but rather holds your contact information so you can be contacted once your pet is found.  It can also facilitate your proof of ownership.  This tiny, inexpensive device has reunited thousands of pets with their owners.  These can be obtained through a veterinarian’s office or through community events at a discounted price.

  2. Attach an id tag to your pet’s collar that lists your contact information.
  3. Make sure to keep dogs inside and within sight during the first few weeks they become a part of your family. They need time to adjust to the fact that this is their new home and they don’t need to try and return to their former home.
  4. Make sure your dog is always on a leash when it is not in your house or in a fenced yard.  This is the law in most cities of Northwest Arkansas!
  5. Make sure the fence to your home is secure with no holes under the fence and a stable fence.  Make sure the fence is at least 6 feet tall to prevent your pet from jumping over.  Some dogs are very good at climbing chain-link fences, so take special measures to ensure they can’t actually jump over the fence.  Here are a couple of fencing solutions:
    • A DIY solution to dogs jumping over fences involving wire and pvc pipe.
    • A metal roller placed along the top of a fence can prevent a dog from escaping.
    • A metal extension for any fence to prevent dogs from escaping.
    • A metal extension added to the top of a fence that tilts inward preventing a dog's escape.
    • An invisible fence could prevent your dog from escaping.
    • A fence that tilts in at the top prevents your pet from escaping.
    • A plastic corrugated roof can add protection to any fence.
    • A mesh sunshade to add a protective roof as well as important protection from the sun.
  6. There are two main reasons your dog might want to get out:
    • Problem#1:  They see something on the other side of the fence they want or that bothers them.
      Solution:  Block their view!  You can plant bushes or other landscaping, weave slats or vines through your chain link fence or a number of other artistic solutions.
    • Problem#2:  They are bored.
      Solution:  Provide them with entertainment!
    A picture of a kong dog toy and a tip on using it to keep your dog entertained longer.

    Filled Kong

    Kongs not only keep your pet entertained, but are also designed to improve cognition and problem-solving skills for your dog as well. Mix up a concoction of hard kibble and wet dog food to put inside the kong, then freeze overnight. Before you leave for work, put it out for the dog and allow him to eat his meal slowly while he works on getting the food out as it thaws.

    A DIY recipe for creating a doggie popsicle filled with healthy treats and toys to keep them entertained and well hydrated.

    Doggie Popsicle

    For a quick DIY solution, pour sodium-free chicken broth into a Tupperware container, add a little peanut butter, some diced baby carrots or apple, a couple of treats and maybe a favorite water-proof toy. Mix well, then place in freezer overnight. Before use, run warm water over the Tupperware container to loosen the popsicle and pop it out. This is also a great way to keep your dog well hydrated!

    The Teather Tug toy can keep your dog entertained for hours and provide healthy exercise!

    Teather Tug Toy

    The Teather Tug toy is designed to healthy mental and physical play for dogs of all activity levels and all sizes. It can help keep your dog physically and mentally engaged while providing hours of energy burning play. This can also prevent the arm and shoulder pain or fatigue owners often experience. Available in indoor and outdoor versions. Check out their website here.

    Getting a companion for your dog could help re-establish their sense of being part of a pack.

    Another Dog

    Dogs are pack animals by nature, meaning their instinct is to live in groups. When a dog is separated from his pack he may become worried, stressed and unhappy. You can help by adding a member to his pack that would stay with him when his family leaves each day. This has been known to improve the activity level in older dogs and the confidence level of more skittish dogs.

  7. If you still feel that your dog may escape your yard, the best solution is to crate-train your dog and keep them inside during the day.  Dogs are den animals by nature.  A den is any small, safe well-defined space.  It is a space that makes dogs instinctively feel safe.  It is also a space they will instinctively avoid soiling.  The combination of these two native traits are what make crate training, done in the right way, a kind and effective solution for short-term containment and house-training a new puppy or dog.  No dog, young or old, should be living in a crate full-time.   However, crating while you are away for an average 8 hour (or less) work day may be the safe solution you are looking for.  If going home during your lunch hour is not a viable option, consider hiring a dog walker to walk your dog once a day.  Click here for more information on crate training your dog.
  8. Doggie Day Care can provide your dog with a safe, fun environment while you are away.  Your dog can socialize with other dogs while staying healthy and active.  Your dog will also be much happier in a stimulating environment, playing with other dogs and people.  Many owners comment on what a pleasure it is to pick up a relaxed, smiling tail-wagger at the end of a work day, rather than coming home to find 10 hours of pent-up canine energy awaiting them.  There are several good doggie day care organizations here in Northwest Arkansas.  Click here to see a few of our recommendations.