Every pet parent’s greatest fear is losing their fur child. If your dog or cat is loose and you don’t know where they are, it is important that you don’t panic. The key to bringing your pet home is spreading the word and enlisting as many people as possible in the search effort.

ID Tags:
Indoor and outdoor pets should wear collars with ID tags with their name and your phone number on them.

Hide and Seek:
When you realize that your pet is missing talk to your family and neighbors to see when they last saw your animal. Use treats and shake food bowls to find a pet that could be hiding somewhere in the home. If you are certain that your pet is not hiding somewhere in the home, then start by taking a walk or drive around the neighborhood.

Phone Calls:
The first call you make should be to the area animal shelters and rescue groups in your area. Check daily with larger shelters to make certain that they do not have your pet in custody.

Make a Flyer:
Make a simple “lost pet” flyer and post it around the neighborhood. Your flyers should all have the same design and contain a few key items. The flyer should have a big, bold headline such as “Missing Cat” or “Lost Dog”. Under that you should have a clear and current picture of your pet in addition to listing the animals breed, sex, color, age, weight and lost known location. The flyer should also contain at least 2 contact numbers.

Cover the Neighborhood:
Now it’s time to post your flyers. According to the ASPCA good places to post flyers include: dog parks, pet stores, vet’s offices, gas stations, restaurants, lamp posts, trees, and schools.

Use the Internet:
Use social media to spread the word about your missing pet. Ask that people pass the information along and keep an eye out.

Don’t give up hope, there is a good chance that your furry friend will find their way home!