Losing your dog in the woods is a dog owner’s nightmare. If you are in this situation, you might start to panic as time goes on and your dog is nowhere to be seen. Fortunately your odds of finding it are good, there are some steps you can take to find your lost dog.
Stop For A Moment
The first thing that people do when they lose their dog is to frantically call for them while moving around. This is a strategy that you might want to reconsider. Randomly moving around while calling for your dog is not going to help and you need to stop for a moment.
Collecting yourself is important because it ensures that you are able to calmly plan your next steps. What you have to do will vary depending on where you are and what you have with you. If you have been out hiking, you will need to take different steps to when you lost your dog in the woods around your home.
Check Familiar Areas
If there are parts of the woods that you frequent with your pet, you need to head to these areas first. Your dog may have gone ahead of you to where they assumed you were going. It is possible that you will find your dog in one of these places. Walking the trails that are familiar to your pet is also a good idea because there is a better chance that you will find them there.
If you find your dog in these familiar areas, you need to be careful when you approach them. This is particularly important if your pet has been missing for a number of hours. Being lost and alone is stressful for your dog and you should not chase them if they start to back away. This will cause them to run off and you will have to start your search again.
Bring What They Love
If you are close to home, you should get a leash and something that your dog loves. This can be a treat that has a strong smell that your dog loves or their favorite toy that makes a noise. Once you have these items, you will need to head into the woods again.
While walking the paths that are familiar to both of you, call your pets name in a happy voice. If you have a noisy toy, you can make a noise with it as your dog will recognize this. It is important that you move slowly through the woods as you do this to not confuse your pet.
If you are unable to get back into the woods, you should place some water and the familiar items in a set area. This could be the parking lot where you left to enter the woods. Dogs are natural trackers and when they get lost they will often double back on their own trail. If you are not where their trail ends, they are likely to leave and this will lower your chances of finding them. Leaving familiar items will keep them in the area for longer so you can reunite with them.
Use Another Dog
If you have another dog or have a friend who has a dog, you can use them to find your lost dog. Of course, it is best to have a dog that is good at tracking for this task. Present them with something that has your dogs scent on them and allows their natural tracking abilities to take over.
If you do not have another dog or any friends, there are some dog tracking services that you can use. These services will generally use bloodhounds to track your dog and help you find them in the woods. If you are in a state park, the information service might be able to help you as well.
If you have lost your dog in the woods, you need to stay focused, calm and positive. Your dog will often track its own trail and head back to where you last saw them. Staying on the paths they are familiar with will also increase the chances of finding them. If all else fails, you can work with a tracking service that specializes in finding lost dogs.