If you or someone you know has lost a dog before, you know the extreme dread, anxiety, and panic that hits the instant your dog is nowhere to be found. Besides the obvious emotional trauma, the awful thing about this panic is that it makes you act illogically and rashly at a time when every minute counts.
Below are items you should get together in your Lost Dog Kit should that worst possible scenario ever happen. Having this kit ready will make the search for your lost dog much more effective – and help manage your own anxiety and panic.
1. Lost Dog Posters – See our previous post [hyperlink] on how to make effective posters. By making these when you’re in a calm state of mind, you can better gauge whether or not your lost dog posters are effective to passersby. Then, you can always update the information and photos – if and when the time comes.
2. Phone Numbers – Get together a list of all the local animal shelters and veterinarian offices in a 100-mile radius. Organize this list by a 10-mile radius, then 20-mile, 50-mile, and 100-mile radii. As the number of days increase in your search, you should expand your search and call the numbers further down your list.
3. Frequented Places – Write down a list of all the places you think your dog might wander off to. For example, my dog Lemon is pretty predictable – when we go on walks, she always pokes her head into the same businesses because she knows they’ll give her treats – my list of places includes all of the stores that give out treats, friends’ houses, nearby parks, etc. When you do lose your dog, take this list and grab a group of friends. Divide up the list of places amongst your friends and go to the frequented places with the lost dog posters in hand, ask the businesses if they’ve seen your dog and if not, ask if you can put up a lost dog poster in their window.
4. Checklist Log – Grab a blank notebook and title each page “Day 1”, “Day 2” and so on. Each day should have a checklist of steps that you’ve taken to find your dog. Make sure that you keep track of the steps you’ve done every day to ensure that you are taking every measure possible to find your dog and that you’re not forgetting anything.
5. Finding Rover App – Make sure you’ve downloaded the Finding Rover app and that your dog has up-to-date Photo IDs. If you ever lose your dog, make sure you instantly report it on Finding Rover. You should also frequently check “Sightings” in the Nearby section (under the Nearby tab on the bottom right-hand corner). If someone sees your dog but the photo they took wasn't good enough for the photo recognition engine, your dog will show up as a "Sighting."
Losing your dog is traumatic – preparing yourself ahead of time will help ease some of the stress and confusion, as well as make your search more effective.