Have you ever thought about what you would if you lost your dog?
It’s a fear that is shared by all dog owners – you come home from work and notice that they didn’t greet you at the door. They’re not asleep on the couch or laying in the sun in the backyard.
They’ve somehow wandered off, nowhere to be found. It’s a nightmarish scenario, but it can happen. When it does, how will you make sure you get them back home safe and sound?
Luckily, there are a number of steps you can take to help get your pup back home by bedtime.
Search for your lost dog immediately
One of the best things you can do is search for your lost dog straight away. Don’t wait for them to find their own way home.
Your dog might be capable of finding its own way home, but you should always assume that it won’t. Make sure you search your home and yard thoroughly. Pay close attention to any spaces you think your dog might not be able to fit through.
Once you’ve made sure your dog is not on your property, head out and walk the streets and any recently visited locations. You can also ask any passers-by if they’ve seen your dog.
Check anywhere you’ve visited with them recently, or spots that you regularly visit together, like the dog park. Dogs have a very impressive sense of smell, so they are capable of following scents to familiar places.
Reach out to councils and vets about your lost dog
Call your council and any neighbouring council areas straight away to lodge a lost report. You should also call all the vet clinics in your area and the 24/7 emergency vet clinics.
Keep in contact with these organisations and touch base with them regularly, as some animal descriptions can be difficult to match over the phone.
If you happen to have a picture of your lost dog, it’s a good idea to send that in as well – the more information they have about your pet, the better.
Contact local animal shelters to see if your lost dog has been taken to them
You can lodge Lost Pet Reports online at both Animal Welfare League and RSPCA South Australia, as well as search each organisation’s found animal databases:
Animal Welfare League ‘Found Pets’ database
RSPCA South Australia ‘Found Pets’ database
Provide as many key details about your lost dog as you can, for example their size, colour, microchip number and any distinguishing features. You should also provide a photo of your dog, if possible.
Both organisations give you the option to register your pet as lost, and they will contact you if your dog is taken to them.
You can reach AWL on 8348 1300 and RSPCA South Australia on 1300 477 722.
Update your lost dog’s microchip
If councils or animal shelters receive a microchipped animal, they will retrieve your details from the microchip registry and contact you.
Every year AWL receives many hundreds of animals with microchips, but their details on the registry are not up to date and therefore we are unable to contact the owner.
This is why it’s so important to make sure you have microchipped your dog – and also why it’s important to ensure you update that microchip if your contact details change.
You can find out more about microchipping here. If you would like to update your dog’s microchip, you can do this at Dogs and Cats Online (DACO).
Let your neighbours know about your lost dog
It’s a good idea to create ‘lost dog’ flyers to display in local shops, service stations and on community noticeboards. Be sure to include a picture of your dog as well, so people know what to look out for.
You can also post in any local community groups on Facebook to let people know to keep an eye out for your cat. You can usually find these by searching your suburb or council area in the Search bar.
Use social media to help find your lost pet
You can also utilise the power of social media and your online community network to ask for help.
Make sure you post on all the lost and found pages you can find and make sure to include a photo of your cat.
The two largest pages on Facebook are Lost Pets of South Australia and Lost Dogs of Adelaide – many people use these to find their lost pets.
If you don’t have Facebook, you can email Lost Dogs of Adelaide on firstname.lastname@example.org and Lost Pets of South Australia on email@example.com.
Want to find out more about microchipping?
For more information about the microchipping process, or to find out where you can get your pet microchipped, click the button below. We’ll send you an email with everything you need to know!