11 Things To Do When Your Dog Is Missing


11 Things To Do When Your Dog Is Missing

It can happen to anyone.

A sudden loud noise can spook your dog, he can pick up a scent or it can be just a moment of distraction when you answer the door.

By law, the dog must be microchipped but many dogs which are found have outdated information on their microchip. An ID tag can become detached or the dog could slip his collar.

The absolute panic that comes over you when your dog goes missing is horrendous.

11 Things To Do When Your Dog Is Lost

This checklist tells you everything you need to do if your dog is missing.

1 Contact the local Dog Warden. You will find the telephone number on your local council website.

2 Speak to your neighbours, ask them to check CCTV cameras if the dog went missing from home. Ask them to check sheds or outbuildings where a dog might go for shelter.

3 Contact the Police if you feel that your dog could have been stolen.

4 Contact local Rescue Kennels, Boarding Kennels. Animal Hospitals

5 Telephone all the Vets in your area.

6 Make local dog groomers, dog walkers etc aware that your dog is missing.

7 Contact the microchip database to register that your dog is missing. (Your vet has the chip number, or check the microchip databases at the bottom of the post)

8 Post a message on Facebook and Twitter to alert all your friends, enable the post for sharing and encourage everyone to spread the word. A photograph of the dog will attract attention and show people what your dog looks like. If you don’t have a photo, use a breed picture or a dog that looks similar.

9 Register with  Dog Lost UK 

You can print off posters from here with all your dog’s details. Leave these in local shops, attach to lampposts and post through letterboxes.

Also, check their database to see if your dog has been recorded as a found dog.

10 Run an advertisement in a local newspaper and check the ‘Lost and Found’ column. You may want to offer a reward for the dog’s return.

11. Ask a local radio station to make an appeal.


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What to do Next

1 Make sure that someone is at home whilst you go out searching, many dogs will find their own way home.

2 Return to the spot where you lost your dog and leave an item of your clothing there and some water. Then watch quietly from a distance.

3 Draw a five-mile radius from where the dog was last seen. If the dog is small or elderly you can reduce this to two miles. Now check for building site’s, farm buildings and disused factories within this radius.


Survival, Shelter, Food, Water.

Remember these four words. This will be the main focus of your dog when he is missing. He will be scared and skittish, tell people to ring you with a sighting instead of approaching the dog themselves. Never chase a lost dog, entice them to come to you with favourite toys and food.

The dog will try to make his way home or to a place that is familiar to him. Check your regular dog routes, family homes, and dog parks.

If you have other dogs at home take them with you to search, they may pick up each others scent.

Innovative Technology To Keep Your Dog Safe

GPC Smart Tags

The GPC Smart App provides free registration for pets. GPC Smart tags are a new mobile pet identification and recovery solution that replaces outdated engraved metal ID tags. Digital technologies allow our system to create pet profiles that include:

  • Important identifying information
  • Photographs
  • Owner and emergency contact info
  • Vaccination records
  • Proof of ownership

Once a GPC Smart tag is scanned, the owner is automatically notified of the mapped location where the pet’s tag was scanned. This revolutionary new system provides a safer, faster, and more secure way to reunite lost pets with their families.


Other Missing Dog Databases

Missing Dog Databases have regular contact with Dog Wardens, Rescue Centres, and  Vets. These volunteers are a great source of knowledge and have the resources to perform a successful search.

K9Search Tel 07988 433187 (West Midlands Area, England)

I have had personal contact with K9Search and recommend them highly.

UK National Pet Register for Lost and Found Pets



For many other countries


Microchip Databases UK

UK Pet Microchip Search



Keep Your Details Up To Date

Please always make sure that your dog’s details are kept up to date with your microchip database. It’s easy to forget if you have moved house or changed your telephone number recently. Also, if you have adopted a dog ensure the microchip details are registered to yourself and not a previous owner

What To Do If You Find A Dog

1Always check the collar first, there should be clear contact details on an ID Tag.

2 If you can’t get close to the collar, ring your local dog warden.

3 If there is no collar, try to take the dog to a local vet or rescue where the dog can be scanned for a microchip.

4 Stay close to the dog if you can, the owner will probably be searching nearby.

5 It is advisable not to chase a loose dog. He will be scared and could act aggressively, especially if he feels cornered.

Hope this information is useful.

9 thoughts on “11 Things To Do When Your Dog Is Missing”

  1. Having been on either end of the situation, it is far better to be a finder than a loser. Our little Lexi (lost her last year to illness) was quite the escape artist. Our fenced back yard was not an obstacle to her determination to become an explorer. We were lucky to get her back quickly each time thanks to nice neighbors. All of our babies have tags with our telephone number but diligent fence escape-proofing has not made it necessary to test the honesty of strangers. But a very nice Pomeranian with a telephone ID tag visited us while on vacation recently and his sleepy mom was very happy to get a call. And the fluffy dog was even happier to see his mom walking up the drive.

    1. That’s a lovely story. My first ever foster dog escaped within 24 hours, luckily she didn’t go far. I had visions of ringing the rescue apologising because I had lost the poor homeless dog they had only just transported to me. I didn’t make that mistake again!

      1. Our dear Annie just turned 16. She doesn’t do much beyond sleep and eat but she was quite the ball fetcher in her day. We were visiting out of state and our hosts turned the wrong way and she was gone, leash and all. A few minutes of panic and loud calling and here she came from across the street, tennis ball in her mouth. She was very proud but we returned the ball and relieved our hosts from Annie duty for the remainder of the visit.

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