Tips for Finding a Lost Dog

Updated On: Thursday, June 29, 2023 15:20:07 PM America/Los_Angeles

There are few things scarier for dog pawrents than losing their precious fur baby. And while canines may be known for their ability to find their way back home, that isn’t always the case. Even dogs who may be able to locate their home within a small radius can be hindered by surprising noises, busy streets, and sudden weather changes. Prepare for the worst before it happens with these search tips for finding a lost dog, so that if your doggo does get lost you don’t waste any time in getting them back home.

Photo by Randy Laybourne


No one plans to lose their dog, but you can plan for unexpected situations. Here are a few things to prep – just in case the unthinkable does happen.  

  • Keep your dog’s microchip number and the phone number of the microchip company readily available.
  • Have a list of local shelters to call. 
  • Keep tags updated with the most recent info and make sure collars will stay on securely.
  • Have a clear and up-to-date picture of your dog to use for flyers.

Contact the Microchip Company

Microchips numbers aren’t just a way for shelters to identify your dog if they end up at one. Microchip companies can also help you get the word out to local shelters that your pup is in search of their home and let them know that the dog tied to a specific number has an owner. 

Alert Your Neighbors 

In addition to posting signs with a clear photo of your furry one, inform your neighbors about your missing dog so that you have as many eyes on the lookout as possible. Offer a copy of the flyers being posted, which should include a contact number where they can easily reach you. 

Place Your Dog’s Belongings Outside

Some things that might help your dog sniff their way back home are: 

  • Favorite toys and bedding: Though your furball may not be able to see their fave goodies from afar, they may be able to smell them. They won’t be as potent as food or a pee pad, but every little bit helps. 
  • Treats and food: If you’ve ever known that you’re home because you smell your mom’s famous stew, then you know that the scent of a familiar food sends some pretty strong signals. Help your pooch identify their home by leaving out their favorite foods or treats. 
  • Pee pad: This one may be surprising, but a used wee wee pad can be a great way to help your fur baby find their way back home. Just as dogs use their own smells to mark their territory during walks, a pet potty can serve the same function when placed outdoors. Think of it as radiating a major smell signal. It’s just one more benefit of using an indoor dog bathroom like DoggieLawn

Know that if you and your fur baby have found yourselves in the unfortunate situation of having lost one another, you don’t have to go through it alone. There are simple steps that can increase their chances of finding their home, and you can enlist the help of family, neighbors, and others to get you two back together again.