What is the best checklist for trying to find a lost dog?

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Losing your dog is one of the most traumatic events you’ll experience and, like anything, prevention is always more preferable than anything else.

• Teach her some basic obedience commands such as “Come.” Dogs tend to dart when in the park or when they see other animals or anything of interest.
• Confine her so she can’t sneak out, especially when you’re working outside or having parties which results in the constant opening and closing of doors.
• Equip her with ID tags and a microchip. A microchip is a tiny identification chip injected under your dog’s skin. It is read with a special scanner that humane societies and many veterinarians, animal hospitals, shelters and other pet agencies have.

If your dog does get lost, organize a search team to get as much help from neighbors, friends, acquaintances and family members as you can. This way, people can travel on bikes, by foot, and by car to thoroughly search the area.

Here are some other things you might do:

• Tell everyone that your dog is lost. Even if they aren’t in your search party, they can keep an eye out.
• File a lost dog report at all agencies and shelters in the surrounding area.
• Go to local agencies and shelters at least once daily to check the new arrivals.
• Make fliers that include the date of loss, name of dog, description, any unique markings, a picture and your phone number. Include a reward offer. Put the fliers up around your neighborhood, at shopping centers, veterinarian clinics, pet shops, utility poles, and anywhere else you can think of.

NOTE: Put the flier up in your old neighborhood if you’ve recently moved; the dog may be trying to get home, but go back to the former one, thinking it’s still her home.

• Place lost dog ads in newspapers and check the “Found Dogs” section in your local paper.
• Check local veterinarians and animal hospitals. If she’s injured, a “good Samaritan” may just have brought her in.

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