Have you ever lost something that you brought with you on vacation? Maybe you have lost something as simple as a hair tie or something as extravagant as a piece of jewelry. Have you ever lost your pet before, while taking a trip? This last event yields the most stress because you have lost someone that is near to you and someone that is there for you when it seems like people aren’t. Your pet is not someone that you can just replace.
While it may seem like an outrageous possibility to lose your pet on your vacation, it may be more common than what you think. Since more people take their dogs with them on vacation now than in the past, there have been a larger amount of dogs that have gotten lost on vacation.
- 1 Don’t Get Too Comfortable Yet!
- 2 The First Few Minutes Matter
- 3 Fueling Potential Success
- 4 Communication is Key
- 5 Technology Helps
- 6 The Good News?
- 7 Be Purposeful, and Cautious
- 8 What Happens After a Pet is Lost?
- 9 Something to Consider
- 10 Preventative Measures
- 11 Possible Solutions For Finding a Lost Pet
Don’t Get Too Comfortable Yet!
With all of the activities that you have planned, you may be less inclined than usual to keep a close watch over your pet. Even if you plan a trip that involves relaxing rather than running from one event to the next, you will want to be absolutely certain that you can find your pet quickly if they do become lost.
Putting measures in place to prevent them from getting lost at all would be the best option. You should be able to experience the privilege of bringing your pet with you on your vacation without having to worry about them wandering off, which can happen for a variety of reasons. Most dogs do not run away intentionally.
Instead, they often wander off due to stress. They could have been scared off by either a noise that they were not used to or they could have been simply frightened by the unique surroundings that they found themselves in. While it may take a while to put some of these methods of prevention to work, the payoff of having peace of mind will be worth the effort.
The First Few Minutes Matter
As soon as you realize that your dog or your pet is missing, it is time to make a phone call. Contacting people in authority in the surrounding area can help save you time. If you are camping, for example, let the management at that establishment know that your pet has gone missing.
Not only will they be able to keep a lookout for your pet, but they can also spread the word to others. Also, they have probably experienced pets becoming lost at their center before. Therefore, they may have an idea as to specifically where your pet might have gone off to.
Depending on the area that you are in when your pet is lost, it may even be a good idea to call local shelters in the area. They have dealt with cases of missing animals before and they will be appropriately equipped to lure a dog back to where they are supposed to be.
If you are on a trip where staff is not readily available to help, there are still steps you can take that will potentially heighten the speed at which your lost pet is found. When you are in this type of situation, one option is to find other people nearby who are also on vacation.
Perhaps you may even find people who are staying for the same duration of time that you are. If you have pictures of your pet, show them to the people you meet and maybe even give them a treat to give to your dog. Dogs are quite keen sniffers and can possibly be tempted to come up to a stranger if they smell something familiar.
It is also a good idea to leave out one of their toys in the area that you want them to come back to. The key to luring your dog back to safety is doing is slowly as opposed to abruptly. This is especially true if the people that are helping your find them have never met them before.
Fueling Potential Success
If you do end up seeing your dog from afar, start to lure them back by placing a couple of treats on the ground. Then, move away from the treats so that your dog has space to come up to the delicious scent. If you are surrounded by other people who are helping you search during this moment, ensure that they back away as well. This will help to reduce any stress that your dog is feeling from this nail-biting experience.
It may be tempting to rush up to your dog and pet them as soon as they start heading for the treat, but do your best to be patient with the process. It would be a heart-wrenching experience to finally find your dog only to have them get scared off again. Be sensitive and perceptive towards the situation and make a decision as to whether or not you can move forward.
Your dog may act as they normally do, but it is better to assume that they will act in an uncharacteristic way given the situation. For instance, if they are typically a dog that is beyond friendly, they might act more cautiously in this situation. Also be aware of the fact that you may want to act differently in that situation because many emotions are sure to arise.
Allow yourself to feel your feelings without attaching guilt to it, but be careful that they do not overwhelm you in this situation. Since your dog may already be on edge, it will make a major difference in the outcome if you do your best to remain as stable as possible. Similar to the way that a child reacts to the energy presented in the atmosphere, dogs have the capability to react towards the persona that is being represented in the situation.
Communication is Key
While you may have taken a vacation with the intent of lessening your use of technology for the time you were on vacation, it can be extremely useful to run towards the use of technology if your dog has gone missing. You are going to want to create a multitude of flyers that contain a picture as well as a description of your pet, and plaster them nearby.
Get help with putting them up if you are able to. While you are traveling to hand out the flyers, you may come across someone who has already seen your pet, which will give you more hope. Word of mouth is still an efficient way for people to communicate. When people see you passing out flyers, you can also verbally explain the situation to them. This is helpful because you can present them with specific details that you may have forgotten to include in the flyer.
Also, you can encourage them to talk to others as well about your missing pup. If you are able to come into contact with a decent amount of people, you can have a better chance at getting your situation resolved. You may not even come across the person who will find your dog when you are passing out the flyers.
Instead, the person who finds your dog could possibly be a friend of a friend of a person you talked with. This is why word of mouth combined with technology can yield great results. You could focus on just one method or the other. However, if you only opt for one type of action, your potential to find your pet significantly drops.
Keep your options open and be sure that you do not forgo a method simply because you do not think it will make a difference in your search. If there is even a small possibility that one of your actions could lead you closer to your furry friend, initiate that step with all that you have. Act upon it as if your life depended upon it.
You will also want to make sure that your contact information is written or typed clearly on the flyers. However, contact information is useless unless you are actually available through the information that you provided. For example, if you listed your personal cell phone number as the number to contact when your pet is found, then be absolutely sure to keep your cell phone on you as you continue in your search. The sooner that you are able to get a lead as to where your pet may be, the sooner you could have them back.
Thankfully, technology has come so far that you can even efficiently put up a picture of your pet online that can circulate at a great speed. There are even websites that are dedicated to helping others find their missing pets. It is wise to seek these out not only for the sake of finding your pet quickly, but also for the sake of receiving emotional support during the meantime. It would be incredibly encouraging to see many people post about how their pet was once missing but now has been found. This process may even enable you to have clarity of mind as you continue to go out and search for your furry friend. It will keep you uplifted, even if you become discouraged during your search.
The Good News?
Is there ever any good news to the fact that your pet is missing on vacation? Well, yes and no. The not so good news is that obviously your pet has traveled to an area that they are unfamiliar with. The good news is that this is a preventable situation. However, if your dog has already been lost before, the good news is that they do not typically wander off too far.
This means that you could have a higher chance of finding them if you act quickly. There is no doubt that this situation is stressful. But if you allow the adrenaline that accompanies these situations to kick in, you will be able to act swiftly.
Be Purposeful, and Cautious
Don’t allow the anxiety of the event to overwhelm you to the point where you are paralyzed to make a move. Get acting quickly and constantly keep in mind that there is still hope that you will find them. You can also take comfort in the fact that dogs in particular have a keen sense of smell. Since people are more likely to take dogs on their vacations than any other pets, it is likely that your lost pet will be able to sniff his way back to the site where you both once were.
In order to possibly expedite this process, leave a familiar item back at the site where you want your pet to end up at. If they smell something familiar, they will be much more tempted to lure themselves toward that smell as opposed to an unfamiliar scent. You can also carry the familiar item with you as you go on your search.
If you choose this approach, and you do happen to see them coming towards you as a result of the item, be cautious. Your dog may still be leery to approach, simply due to the fact that the surroundings of their environment are different than what they are used to. They may also be caught off guard if there are many people around.
Maybe you were able to gather together many people that were just as enthusiastic about finding your dog as you were, and that’s great! It wouldn’t hurt to explain to the search party beforehand how to act if you all do end up spotting your dog. Where there is unity of mind, there is power. If you are all on the same page, you will have a better chance of capturing your dog without scaring them.
What Happens After a Pet is Lost?
Similar to the way that most people act differently in public than they do while at home, dogs have a tendency to act differently when lost as opposed to when they are safe at home. When they are by their owner’s side, they can rest in the fact that when their owners call them by name, it is for a good purpose.
However, when they are lost, they may not approach a stranger, even if they are calling them by name. That is, if the stranger is even lucky enough to get close enough to the lost dog to read their name tag. Being in an unfamiliar area with unfamiliar people can be stressful for your furry friend. The good news is that there are ways to prevent your pet from becoming lost, or at least provide avenues of comfort if they do happen to lose their way.
Although it is a concerning event to lose a pet, especially while you are on vacation, you can take hope in the fact that some animals do not return home until up to six weeks. This allows for quite a bit of optimism to accrue during the meantime. In fact, some rescue shelters even encourage you to intensely search for your pet up to six weeks after they have disappeared. Some pets have even been reported to come back home after being missing for an entire year!
As the owner, you are the best person to search for your missing pet. This is especially true because, as mentioned beforehand, pets have a tendency to act differently when they find themselves in unfamiliar situations. Even if your pet is friendly is general, they may be timid while lost.
Therefore, they might not readily adhere to the attempts of a stranger trying to look for your dog. However, in the case that a stranger does find your dog before you do, you will want to make sure that you have a tag with a phone number on it. Then you can rest assured, knowing that, if your dog is found, you can be contacted quickly and efficiently.
Something to Consider
If it is within your budget, you may want to consider putting up a reward for the return of your pet. While you would hope that you can faithfully assume that everyone would want to safely return your pet with or without a reward, some people are more driven when an incentive is involved.
If you do choose to go this route, be sure that the person who found your dog is able to describe even unique characteristics about them. An even more secure route would be to have them physically bring you your pet first. Hopefully you are on a trip with other dog lovers as well. They might better understand the urgency of the situation more than a random stranger. Therefore, they would be more likely to want to help you, and they would be able to sympathize with your situation.
With that being said, before you leave on vacation, make sure that the information on your dog’s collar is up to date. Also make sure that the collar is the proper size. The general rule for determining the proper size of a collar is that you should be able to easily slide two fingers in between your dog’s neck and your dog’s collar.
If you do this and there is still room for a third finger to easily fit, this could mean that your dog may have the ability to escape from it. If you cannot even fit two fingers inside of the collar, it is definitely too tight and you will need to adjust it accordingly.
It would be a miserable situation if someone found your dog but was unable to properly contact you. You may also decide to get your pet micro chipped as a method for preventing them from getting too lost. However, this method is not recommended because most people do not understand the proper purpose and use behind this. It serves as a source that can be used to identify your pet. There are also less invasive options available.
Possible Solutions For Finding a Lost Pet
As you can tell from the beginning of this article, there are many modes of action that you can take if you lose your pet on vacation. Some methods involve tips that would be helpful after the fact while other avenues lead to a prevention of your pet getting lost in the first place. Obviously prevention is a better choice than having to clean up after a mess.
However, it can be reassuring to know that if you have lost your pet while on vacation, you are not alone. It’s also settling to know that you will most likely find them soon! However, just as dogs can become frightened and act differently in unique situations, dog owners can make decisions from a foggy mind when an event like this occurs. This is why it is important to set as many preventative measures in place before going on a vacation with your dog.
When you are on vacation, you may unintentionally doze off, and you won’t want to wonder if your dog is still close by as you are resting. A low invasive way to prevent your dog from wandering off too far is implementing a GPS fence in the surrounding area. This can be set up when both you and your dog want to experience some down time.
What if you don’t want to bother with setting up a GPS fence? You still have to remain responsible with your dog’s whereabouts. An easy way to fix this type of mess before it begins is to secure your dog with a GPS collar.
This is a cost effective way to keep track of your dog. As you would with a regular collar, ensure that it is snug enough to where your dog will not be able to slip out of it, but also make sure that it isn’t too tight. These are great to have because even if your dog does wander off and you doze off, it will be a quick and easy process to track your dog and lead them back to safety- AKA, your arms!