Our pets are often our best friends. We love them and want what is best for them. That is why when they go missing, it can be terrifying. Knowing what to do can help you find them quickly. This guide will help you create a plan to find a missing pet. 

Five Ways to Find Your Pet 

1. Start your search right away.

Waiting to start your search could allow your pet to wander too far, or to get caught in a dangerous situation. You should start searching as soon as you realize your pet is missing, instead of waiting to see if they will come home.

2. Walk around and call their name. 

Walking around your neighborhood and the area where they went missing can help you locate your pet faster. Not only should you canvas the area in daylight, but searching after dark with flashlights could help if your pet is skittish. Take some treats with you and enlist the help of your neighbors and friends.

3. Post on social media.

Sites like Petfinder, Pawboost, Nextdoor, or local Facebook groups are great ways to enlist the help of your neighbors. If you have lost your pet in an area you are not familiar with, consider knocking on doors and asking if anyone can post for you on their local groups. Be sure to check local adoption sites for your pet as well, just in case they were kidnapped.

4. Contact local vets, shelters, and animal control.

Calling around to different veterinary offices can help spread the word about your missing pet, as well as make sure your pet was not taken in for an emergency by a good samaritan.  

Places like shelters and most animal control often make lost pet reports, where they post descriptions of lost pets in case anyone is looking for them. But you should also visit your local shelters in person, because it’s much easier to identify your pet that way than through a description. 

If your pet is lost locally here in Maricopa county. They host this great tool, which allows you to see a map of found or lost pets in the area, usually with pictures as well!

5. Make posters and signs.

Making posters and lost pet signs is a wonderful idea. Put them up all over the neighborhood, in local dog parks, in local vet offices and shelters, and ask local businesses if you can put them up in their windows. 

The more people that are aware of your missing pet, the more people looking for them. Be sure to include a clear, color photo of your pet with their description, name, and your phone number. If you are able to offer a reward, make it clear on the poster. 

Five Ways to Prevent Your Pet from Getting Lost 

1. Microchipping

Pets with microchips are much more likely to be returned home than those without them. Microchipping is a quick procedure that can be done at any vet visit. If your pet is already microchipped, be sure to keep all information on the microchip database up to date. 

2. ID collars

Pets with ID collars that have your phone number on them are also more likely to return home. They are the easiest way for good samaritans to contact you if your pet gets lost, and you can be reunited sooner. 

3. Recent Photos

Be sure to keep clear, current photos of your pet on hand. They should preferably be ones where your pet’s markings are clearly visible. 

4. Tracking Devices

GPS trackers are another way to keep track of pets that decide to strike out on their own. Trackers can range in price and ability. Some use satellites to track pets, while others use crowdsourcing. 

5. Vigilance

Make sure your dog is leashed when you go on walks. Leash dogs in the backyard if they like to hop fences and you are unable to supervise their outdoor time. Keep cats indoors, or only let them out supervised and on a leash. Make sure family and friends know not to let pets out. These are all ways to help keep pets from running off and getting lost. 

Dedicated Veterinary Care in Gilbert, Arizona

Finding a lost pet is a joyous affair! If you have been reunited with a lost pet, making an appointment with your vet is one way to ensure they are still healthy after their wanderings. At East Valley Animal Hospital we know how much you love your pet and that is why we provide the best medical care in the area. From accidents to annual checkups, we will help you keep your furry friend healthy. Contact us today for an appointment.


Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (4/7/23). Photo by Randy Laybourne on Unsplash.