This past weekend, Sophie (one of our customers at Bubbly Paws Dog Wash) was missing. Her neighbors (Norman's parents) were texting me asking for us to put up Sophie's picture on our facebook page. I did that, but I also suggested a few other ideas. I told them about the Lost Dogs MN facebook page, and at 1am, they got a text from someone that saw her picture on there and spotted her. So there is your proof that social media does help people find lost dogs. Social media was so powerful that a few of our customers saw the post and even showed up to help look for her! The next day, Norman's parents suggested I write a blog post on tips to help find a lost dog. So here goes...
First lets talk about prevention.... Make sure your dog has a micro chip and the information has been updated with your micro chip provider. Check your dog's tags, make sure they are secure on the collar, and have a current contact number (a cell phone is always best). Finally, if your pooch is an escape artist, there is the TAGG pet tracker, which has a GPS chip in it, which can show you exactly where your dog is. Norman has one of these and they are pretty sweet. You can draw a map online and anytime your dog leaves the area you get a text message.
Now that you have all your contact information updated, lets go over what to do should the be lost.
1- Get the word out. Make sure you have a good picture of the dog. Post it on your facebook and twitter feeds, but also post it on the Lost Dogs- MN facebook page. Contact pet businesses that you frequent and ask for them to put the picture on their facebook and twitter accounts.
2- Think like a dog - Where does your dog like to go? Think about favorite parks, neighbor houses, etc that they love to go to. Remember a dog can cover lots of space in a matter of minutes if they are running.
3- Make phone calls - Hopefully your dog is micro chipped, and if someone finds them they will take them to the local vets office or animal control center. We even had a customer bring in a dog they found to our doggy daycare because they did not know what to do. So call all the local pet stores, dog dacyares, and vets offices. Another good place to call after hours is the after hours Emergency vet located in Golden Valley and Eden Prairie. Don't forget to call the police non emergency numbers in your city, and the cities surrounding you. Make sure to leave your contact information in case someone calls. Remember, if a person finds a lost dog, they might not know where to go, so the more places that have your information, the better.
If your dog is lost more than 24 hours, which we hope never happens, here is a great article on more long term advice. It is written for a Sheltie, but can be adapted to any breed.
Hopefully you will never need this information, but now you are prepared just in case!