How to Find a Dog that’s Been Lost for Over 24 Hours

Disclaimer: The content on is for informational purpose only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a veterinarian when in doubt.

The chances of finding a lost dog after 24 hours will depend on many factors such as how and where the dog went missing. Much like the importance of the first 72 hours after a person goes missing, it’s important for the dog owners to take immediate action after they notice their dog has gone missing. Here are the steps we recommend.

Contact Local Pet Shelters

Make sure you have called all local pet shelters and animal control within the vicinity of where your dog was last seen. It’s possible for a good Samaritan to have found your dog within the 24 hour period he went missing and have reported the lost dog tpo the organization.

Make Use of Your Scent

Dogs have an unbelievable sense of smell so make use of it. You can, for example, leave your dog’s leash next to the spot where you last saw him. With some luck, your dog will return to it and you may find him waiting next to the leash the next time you go to the spot. This also works for other pieces of items that may have your scent on it such as your clothes.

Share in Lost Pet Communities

There may be a website where you can share details of your lost dog. For example, in the UK, you can post about your missing dog on DogLost. The members in these online communities may be able to help you out by reporting possible sightings of lost dogs.

Contact Lost Dog Specialists

Time could be running out if your dog has been lost for over 24 hours. In more rural areas, it may be helpful to hire a lost dog specialist to help find your missing pet. These specialists will have tracking dogs that will try to find your pet with whatever scent you can provide to them. Please note, however, that this is never guaranteed to work so consult with the lost dog specialists first and see if it makes sense to leverage their service.

Missing Dog Posters

It may not have as wide of a reach as posting on social networks but don’t ignore the value of distributing lost and found pet posters! Print them out and distribute as many as of them around the area where your dog went missing.


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