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Losing a dog can be stressful and frightening under any circumstance. You’re probably racking your brain trying to figure out where your furry friend could have gone. But the truth is that many factors affect the way your dog will behave when lost. See our advice below to help you find your lost pup.

Where Do Missing Dogs Usually Go?

As a general rule, dogs are usually found within 1 to 2 miles of their home. But all dogs are unique and will behave differently when lost, depending on their breed, age, and temperament. For example, a homebody like the Bernese Mountain Dog or a tiny dog like the Pomeranian isn’t likely to get as far as a medium-sized retriever dog like the Labrador Retriever. Dogs with a friendly, sociable temperament will seek out humans to help and feed them, which may lead to them being rescued quicker. 

Purebred dogs are often deemed more attractive which makes them more likely to be picked up. This could, however, make them more susceptible to being stolen as well. Dogs with a nervous or aggressive temperament may run in a blind panic and end up travelling quite far. Nonetheless, even the calmest dog breeds will begin to feel scared, once they realize they’re alone without access to food, water, and shelter. And scared dogs will often seek out sheltered areas like woods or forests where they can avoid human contact.

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How Likely Is It to Find a Lost Dog?

According to the ASPCA, you have around a 90% chance of finding your lost dog within the first 24 hours. This then drops to about 60% on the second day. So, first things first: go back to all the places you’ve just been. Once your dog realizes it’s lost, it will probably try to return to somewhere it knows. Enlist the help of friends, family, and neighbors. Ask someone to stay at your house in case your lost dog returns there, while the rest of you spread out and search the neighborhood. Visit your local dog park and walk the paths you usually take with your pooch, calling out your dog’s name loudly and clearly as you go.

To increase your chances of finding your lost dog quickly, create a virtual “lost dog” poster to spread the word. Make your poster as striking as possible with a recent cute photo of your pup alongside the important information in bold font. Be sure to include your phone number and think about offering a reward for the return of your lost dog. Then, post the lost dog poster to all your social media accounts, like Facebook, and ask your friends and family to repost it. To widen your circle and get more people on the lookout, use the Boost by Pet Alert tool on Facebook to improve the visibility of your post. This system works by targeting people who live in the area where your pet was lost. Good luck! 🐶