Chances of Finding a Dog that Has Run Away

It is always a sad time when a pet has run away, and they can be very hard to find, but there is always hope for finding them.

According to a 2010 study, dogs that run away from home are found 93% of the time. There is a large chance that the animal may also be in a pet shelter. When looking for a dog, call local animal shelters, put up posters, post online, and ask neighbors if they have seen the lost dog.

There are several ways to help your dog find its way home if it gets lost. Read below for ideas to keep your furry friends safe.


A study was done in 2010 called “Frequency of Lost Dogs and Cats in the United States and the Methods Used to Locate Them.” This study discovered great news! 93% of lost dogs are found and returned to their owners.

Out of the missing animals in the study, 15% of the dogs were found and returned because of the ID tag on their collar, and 59% of the dogs were found by searching in the neighborhood. Only 6% of the dogs lost were found through animal control or law enforcement.

Based on these results, the best way to find your missing dog is to get out in the neighborhood and search! Let’s talk more about how you should go about recovering your dog who has run away.

Identifying Markers

When looking for your dog, it can be crucial to make sure that you can easily identify it, and that there is an easy way to contact you if it is found by a stranger. One of those ways is to make sure that it is wearing a collar. When your dog wears a collar, it can show other people that it has an owner.

You can also attach an ID tag to the collar that has the dog’s name and your phone number. This allows people to contact you if your dog is found. Some people even put their address on the tags so that if it is found by someone close by, they can just bring the dog back to you.

You can also send pictures of your dog to local animal shelters so if your dog is brought there, the workers will know immediately that it is your dog. It can be a difficult process to find your dog, but the more you keep looking and sending out its picture, the more likely you are to find it. Keep up hope and keep looking.

If you can’t circulate a picture, then make sure everyone knows about any distinct markings your dog may have. If it has a spot on its nose, one white paw, or is missing a chunk of its ear, tell everyone about this marking. That way, when a lost dog is found, it will be easy to identify if it is yours.

Ways to Find It

There are many different methods when it comes to looking for your dog. As we saw in the study, the best way is to get out in the neighborhood and look. Call your dog’s name loudly and offer treats. You can travel on foot or by car, just keep your eyes peeled! Make sure to also get friends, family, and neighbors involved in the search. The more eyes the better.

Another way of finding your dog is to circulate their picture. Many people turn to social media to help find their dogs. By posting pictures on social media, the pictures can be spread and if someone sees your dog, then they can report the location for you to search the area.

They may even send you pictures back of the dog they found so you can identify if it is your dog or not. This allows many people to be on the lookout for your dog. Social media has been known to help pet owners get their animals back and to make people aware of animals that have gone missing.

You can also begin putting up missing posters. Some people even offer a reward for the safe return of their pets. Missing posters have been known to be used for finding animals and even people. These posters can reach a whole different group of people that you could not reach otherwise.

Other ways to find your dog could be to call local animal shelters. The dog will sometimes get taken to a shelter after being caught by animal control or a good samaritan. By calling these shelters, you can check around and put the shelters on alert looking for this dog. Another way is to talk to your neighbors. Maybe they found your dog. You may even be able to check their security cameras and see which way your buddy has gone.


There are many ways to keep your dog from running away. If you live in a suburb-like neighborhood, you most likely already have a fence, but if you do not, then it is a good idea to get one. This will keep your dog in a penned-in area. If you do not have a fence, however, there are ways to keep your dogs from running. Many people use a tether.

By using a tether, you can put your dog on a long leash for plenty of mobility, and attach the leash to a tether that is twisted into the ground. This allows the dog to run plenty, but not enough for them to leave the yard.

Some will create a large enclosure in their yard and keep their dog there. It can have a dog house, a lot of shade, and plenty of water. This can be good if you have a larger dog that may pull the tether from the ground. You could line the floor with stone or brick, and have a tall fence up so that the dog cannot run away.

If the dog runs away from the house a lot, then it may be a good idea to use a perimeter collar. A perimeter collar uses tracking technology to make sure your dog stays in a certain area, and if they leave that area, then the collar will give a shock of electricity. This can train the dog to stay in that area and not to leave. This collar can also be disabled for when you take your dog on a walk, or when you take them on a trip.

If your dog keeps escaping while you are on walks, then using different types of harnesses/leashes may help. There are types that wrap around the chest and legs or types that wrap around the head and ears. Try a few out to see which harness and leash best keep your Houdini in check!

Carolina Pieters

I'm Carolina and created this blog, to provide practical advice and emotional comfort for those dealing with pet loss.

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