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What do I do if my pet gets lost?

Accidents happen, and pets get lost! This blog post will guide you through the first steps and how to make a lost pet poster!

A vector illustration inside a night snow blue, paper-textured, house shape, on a large mystic green, paper-textured rectangle, of Lilac, a small juvenile mutt dog with short white fur and long ears, running away from the house shape towards the right side of the image, with her tail between her legs.

Without you realizing it, your pet has run away from home! Your dog saw something irresistible on the morning walk and ran after it, breaking free from their leash. Or perhaps they got scared of a loud noise. Did your cat go outside and not return home? There are many reasons why a pet can get lost. Even if you’re always very careful and take every precaution to avoid it, it can happen in a moment of distraction or when something unexpected happens. Be compassionate with yourself now; hopefully, your pet will be home soon!

Time is crucial, and the sooner you find your pet and bring them home, the better. Get all the help you can to search for them, first near the place where they got lost, and around your home. Over time, they can get further away, so expand your search area. 

  1. Look for your pet where you last saw them and ask people nearby if they have seen them; 
  2. Search for the pet around your home and let the neighbors know your pet is lost;
  3. Make a lost pet poster and put it up where many people can see it;
  4. Publish your poster online, on social media, and on lost pets websites and apps;
  5. Search for your pet and leave posters in places where people may take your pet in case they find them, like vet clinics or hospitals, pet shops, pet shelters, and local police stations;
  6. Consider your pet's personality when searching for them: are they social pets and may seek people's attention, or are they insecure and fearful and may hide? Where would they hide? Will they come if you call them, or maybe they are so afraid that you should look for other ways to lure them to you, using food to attract them or setting a trap?

To create an efficient lost pet poster, we recommend that you add the following to your poster:

  • A good quality photo of your pet,  with easy-to-see unique features, and visible on your poster to capture people's attention;
  • Your pet's name can add a personal touch to your poster and help people look for your pet and know how to call them when they see them;

  • Your Contact Information should be highlighted so that everyone can quickly know how to reach you if they see your pet;
  • The place and time (date) where your pet got lost or was last seen is important information to have on the poster;

Important information about your pet, such as unique features that can help identify them; Whether they have a microchip (but don't include the number) or a collar tag; Health and Medication; Pet’s personality; Warning not to approach if your pet may be afraid or uncomfortable around unfamiliar people. Whatever you think is relevant to someone who finds your pet, know if they are the pet you’re looking for and how to proceed. 

The poster should be simple and have an eye-catching design to capture people's attention. Also, make sure that the pet’s photo and your contact number are the most visible information. Cover the poster in a plastic sleeve turned upside-down to protect it from the elements if you are posting it outside. 

To save you some time when you need it most, we’ve created a Lost Pet Poster Template that you can use for FREE. We hope it helps you reunite with your beloved pet! 
You can create the poster before needing it, updating it when necessary. We hope you never have to use it!

Find out where you can put up your lost pet poster. Different regions may have different rules about putting up posters. Ask permission when needed to avoid the time and expense of creating and putting up posters only to find them taken down the next day. Note where you put up your posters and make sure to remove them once your pet is found. 

After your pet returns home, think about how to prevent something like this from happening again. Can you apply some safety measures in your pet's daily routine or at home? If, unfortunately, it does happen again, a pet microchip and ID tag are always the best way to help your pet return home quickly if they get lost and are found by someone else. If reuniting with your pet takes longer than expected, don't lose hope. They always find a way to surprise us!

 If you find a lost pet, check out our blog post “What should I do if I find a pet?” to learn how to assess the situation and assist the pet.  Comment end 

That’s it! Stay tuned for our next blog post.

Thank you for reading!
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  1. Pet Fbi
  2. Preventive Vet — Lost pet poster template
  3. National pet register — Lost and found pet posters
  4. First street Pets — How to make effective lost pet posters, flyers and mailers

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