Before you panic, double check your home. Many "lost dog" cases are really cases of a dog who found a new and unexpected hangout spot inside the home.
If you know without a doubt your pet is lost, begin the search immediately. Bring a leash and/or a collar with you in case your dog has lost theirs along the way. Bring extra tasty and exciting treats in case your dog needs coaxing to come to you.
Studies have found that lost dogs rarely go further than a 3 mile radius of where they were last seen, so focus your search within that perimeter.
Alert all of your neighbors and provide them with a photo of your dog and reliable contact information to reach you. Let them know if your dog is friendly or fearful and to not chase your dog. Ask them to search their property for your dog, or ask them if you can search with them.
spread the word
Social media goes a long way to help lost pets reunite with their owners. Check to see if your town has a facebook group and make a post about your lost pet with a clear full body photo. Many states have their own lost and found pet facebook groups as well.
Submit lost reports to lost and found pet online registries. Beware that there are some online registries that sadly scam lost pet parents, so do your research.
Speak to as many neighbors and business owners as you can in person. People are much more likely to keep an eye out for your dog if they have spoken to you in person.
Create bright, large, simple neon flyers. In large letters include "LOST DOG" at the top, print a full 8.5x11 clear photo of your dog and a brief description and phone number. Do not include unnecessary information. Post these at intersections where drivers will be stopped. Don't get wordy as it makes drivers less likely to read it! Less is more.
call for help
There are many local organizations who may be able to assist you in keeping an eye out for your pet if they are made aware.
Call your local non emergency police department line to alert them that your dog is missing. Give them a description and a location last seen.
Call every local shelter and veterinary clinic to alert them of your lost dog in case a good samaritan brings them to these establishments. Check to see if your local shelters have the ability to submit lost and found reports.
In New Hampshire, the Granite State Dog Recovery is a great resource for lost dogs. Submit a lost report on their website.
If your dog is microchipped, reach out to the company to let them know your dog is missing and to ensure all of the information registered to your chip is still accurate.
Call your friends and family to assist you in searching for your dog. The more area you are able to cover, the better!
don't give up
Looking for a lost pet can be so difficult and discouraging at times, but don't give up.
There are many cases of pets being reunited with their owners after long periods of time.
Dogs in New England are rarely lost for good, so the odds are in your favor.