Find A Lost Beagle: The Essential Guide
You just got home and you notice that your back gate isn’t completely latched. Sadly, your 4-legged loved one had noticed this too and decided to take on an impromptu adventure. Your beagle is officially lost.
Now is not the time to panic. Yes, losing a pet can be a daunting experience. However to our benefit: The vast majority of households [93%] that have experienced losing a dog, have had their dogs returned to their owners, according to study from the ASPCA.
The First Minutes
Okay — although you may be very tempted to grab the closest rib-eye steak and dog whistle, this is not the time to panic. You have to be methodical in your thinking.
Realize that the first few hours can be imperative in finding your beloved beagle. Do not waste the time on a wild goose chase.
Are They Even Lost?
Now, this might sound a little absurd, but you might want to check that your beagle is lost. Could you imagine the egg you’d have on your face, if you realized that they were just in a different part of the yard, under a bush or something?
Check Your Phone
Doesn’t your dog have a collar with your cell phone number and name on it? I’d certainly think so. Nevertheless, you will want to keep your cell phone near you during this time. Make sure it’s not just on vibrate. Let it ring — you’d be surprised how easily you may overlook the vibration feeling if you’re on the constant move.
Which reminds me about calls: If you have any friends that you can ask upon to assist you with your search, don’t hesitate to do so. More eyes and ears increase your odds exponentially.
Finding The Explanation Why They Ran Away
What are your beagle’s tendencies? Does he or she tend to act out? Does your beagle get lost frequently?
They’re Being A Scaredy Dog
Do you think they’ve high-tailed in fear? If so, check for anywhere where there is markedly lower activity. As you can imagine: if they are startled or scared, they will likely not respond to most people and will go farther distances that one just seeking to explore new surroundings. Adjust your search area accordingly.
Huntin’ For A Humpin’
If your beagle has not been spayed or neutered, they may be on the chase for a mate. Can you think of any other people in the area that leave their dogs outside that may be attracting your canine?
Perusing For A Playmate
Have you considered your lost beagle is a mission to make some newfound friends? Remember, beagles are sociable, so it really should take this into account. Also, if he or she is friendly, there’s a strong likelihood that they may have run up to someone and been recovered.
Trying To Make It Back To Your Previous Home
Have you recently moved? If so, they may be trying to smell their way back to your previous domicile.
Parameters That Will Impact Your Search Radius
Now that we’ve already discussed why your beagle has decided to jettison to another location, now we have to think about parameters that may affect how far you should conduct your search.
They’ve Been On The Run For A While
If possible, you should try your best to triangulate a time-frame from when they were last seen. Has your beagle had an hour or so to roam? Then you’ll be looking with a wider reach.
They’re Active Or Sedentary
Is your beagle more ready for the Olympiad or a box of Oreos? If they’re in the more toward the latter, chances are they haven’t gone that far.
Luckily, most cases are found within a few miles of their homes.
The Weather Outside
If it’s nice weather outside, chances are they’ve decided to take a longer expedition. On the other hand, it’s crappy weather outside, expect that they’ll be seeking shelter closer to home. Expect that they will tire faster if it is particularly hot or cold.
Path Of Least Resistance
Beagles like to follow their noses. They will tend to follow the past of least resistance. This is beneficial, particularly in the woods. They will prefer a well-worn path as opposed to making a new path through a bunch of wild brush.
If you live somewhere as population-dense as New York City, it should be much easier to find your beagle. However, there are more risks involved with more people. More cars, more people may be unscrupulous, etc.
On the flip side, if you live in the sticks — you’ll have a more uphill battle, but it’s not insurmountable.
What Breed Are They?
This is more a general term because obviously, we’re talking about our beagles, so there more immune to this issue. However, it’s a sad but true fact, that some people have been conditioned to wrongfully fear certain breeds of dogs. However, beagles are not imposing and look more vulnerable so they’re that much more likely to being rescued.
Establish The Search Radius
At this point, you’ll want to look at your smartphone (or your paper maps, for those without one) to map out what ground you should be covering. If you (and your friends) attack it methodically, you’ll be that much more effective with your results.
Tools To Help Find Your Lost Dog
Now that you have the absolute basics covered, now it’s time to utilize some tools to aid in your search.
Your Cell Phone
Just a reminder — don’t forget it. This serves double duty. Of course as an indispensable communication tool, but also as a flashlight if necessary. Pro tip: If it’s dark outside, or dark where you think they may have gone, shining the flashlight on your phone, should reflect their eyes at you if they’re looking at you. However, please exercise caution if it’s very dark, as of course — it could be any animal that’s looking back at you.
Don’t leave your home without it. Some beagles aren’t thrilled about the thought of being restrained in any form, so you may want to hide it.
You may end up calling their name so much, it might seem their name belongs in a song. Be sure to keep your voice positive and upbeat, as you want your beagle to feel incentivized to come to you. If you have a voice that has a frenzied or dark tone, they may feel compelled to hide for fear of reprisals.
If your beagle has another canine sibling at home, you may want to bring them along, their appearance and scent may help draw your beagle near, as well.
Their Favorite Toy Or Treat
Let’s be honest: Almost all dogs love the sound of food coming their way. Bring the snack package, or fill a small container with their food to create a sound you can utilize. Of course, if you also have their favorite squeaker toy, let that squeaker holler as you go throughout your neighborhood.
Your Beagle’s Photograph
Granted, you likely have a plethora of current photographs of your pooch on your phone. If you are fortunate enough to have the ability to have flyers printed up quickly by a family member or friend, it will provide a much more orchestrated effort that is geared toward success. If not, text your dog’s photograph to all of those helping in the search party. This works two-fold. That will ensure that they can show the picture of your beagle to anyone they encounter and that everyone has your cell phone # for immediate response.
The First Hour
To our benefit, most lost beagle(s) come home after their unexpected escapade. I remember one day my beagle, Skyler, got out. When I looked outside nearly an hour later, I found him urinating on our mailbox post. True story.
On a side note: you might want to leave a little food outside, where they may notice it in your yard.
Create A Flyer
When creating your flyer, you should leave out an identifying characteristic. Why? Because it vets anyone’s honesty who claims that they have your dog. As sad as it is, some people will play on a dog owner’s emotions and try to take advantage of this scenario for monetary gain or who knows what.
Now that being said, you don’t want to discount someone who says that they think they’ve seen your dog, but don’t have them. Of course, if it’s a physical characteristic you omitted from the flier, they might be able to observe the characteristic from a distance. In that scenario, you’ll still want to check out that lead.
For future reference (although hopefully, you’ll never need to use it), your best bet is to have a random identifying word or symbol on their collar, to ensure that it is indeed your dog.
Just ensure that you do provide comprehensive information stating that your beagle is lost; along with their photo, breed, coloring, and your phone number.
Leverage The Internet To Your Advantage
Now that you’ve already put your fliers together, it’s time to pound the pavement on a neighborhood search, while another friend or family member deploys the flier onto various online sites. Some ideas of where it would be best to start posting online:
- Any social media sites you use and ask for your friends to share it.
- Your local Craigslist lost and found page.
Different lost pet websites that may help in your search include:
Veterinary clinics are usually amongst the go-to places for people that find dogs. This is very likely if the beagle appears injured, but it also a great opportunity to be scanned for any existing microchip.
Contact the veterinary clinics in your area to inform them that your beagle is missing. Use that as an opportunity to provide them a flyer in person, or via email. At the very least — provide them with a description.
Animal Rescues & Shelters
This is the first place in people’s minds to bring a lost beagle if they have discovered one. Many individuals go cautiously to shelters when they’ve found a dog for fears they end up euthanized.
As a beagle owner, you’ll want to check frequently in person, as many shelters only hold found dogs for a week or two.
You’ll want to have a reach of shelters and rescue organizations with 30 miles to your home.
If your town doesn’t have a shelter, contact your police department on their non-emergency line. This will ensure there are that many more eyeballs on the lookup for your beloved beagle.
Groomers / Pet Stores
These are ideal places to provide your flyers, as they are frequented by people who go to take care of their pets.
The First 24 Hours
I get it. If you haven’t found your beagle yet, it can be very frustrating. However, they may have been already discovered, and the locator is trying to contact you.
Deploy A Neighborhood Flyer Campaign
Now that you’ve done a truncated version, now it’s time to deploy with a larger campaign.
Print off a flier on brightly-colored paper (with font sizing large enough to be legible from a passing car), with your pet’s close-up, in-color photo visible. Post that your dog is missing, the breed, color, and your contact information. Offer a reward for their safe return.
For the sake of convenience for potential locators, create tear-off sheets with your phone number, so people don’t remove the flier if they want to take your phone number down.
Post your flier in prominent places around your neighborhood. Focus on locations where people may be stopped in their cars, such as traffic crossings.
Also, post the fliers at local businesses, veterinary offices, animal shelters, dog grooming locations, pet stores, grocery stores and anywhere else you can think of where there is a public information board.
Dog parks are another great place to post fliers. Not only will you get a large audience of dog lovers, but it’s also possible that the need for canine companionship will draw your wandering canine into the park where they will be recognized by the regular visitors.
Entice Your Beagle Back
Take advantage of one of your beagle’s strongest assets: their nose. If you know where your beagle was last seen before they were lost, you should leave something that smells familiar to them. Something like their blanket, bed, old shirt; should be sufficient.
Also, consider leaving a note along with some food and water, requesting that people please do not disturb the area, as you are trying to locate your dog. You’ll want to visit frequently, to see if they’ve come back.
Seek Professional Help
There are professional companies that specialize in finding lost pets. Interestingly enough, they may even enlist the help of other dogs in the search.
How To Catch Your Loose Beagle
A lost beagle will follow their nose. We all know this. That being said — they may be stubborn when you eventually find and call them. Don’t give chase, that will just cause them to run further. Asking you to run from them in a fashion of turning it into a game may sound completely counterintuitive, but that may just work into luring back into your control.
Another trick of the trade is to cry out and drop to the ground. They were likely to come running over to check your well-being. Keep a treat handy, so when they’re close enough you can coax them with it and get them leashed.
Best Things You Can Do Proactively
Here are some quick tips that will significantly place the odds in your favor.
Ensuring that your beagle stays within a fenced-in yard, on a dog run, or within the perimeter of a radio/wireless containment system is the responsibility of all parties responsible for supervision at all times.
Here are my top picks (on Amazon):
Wireless Containment System: Petsafe Wireless Dog Containment System
Microchip and/or GPS Them
Microchipping is something you should consider having done when you first get a beagle to avoid them getting lost. Microchips are tiny devices that are implanted under the skin, they can later be scanned by veterinary clinics or shelters for identification purposes. That being said, it’s absolutely imperative to keep your registered information up-to-date with the microchip company.
If you want to go the extra mile — and prevent your beagle from doing so — many owners (including myself) have placed GPS devices onto their dog’s collar, like this one: Petfon Pet GPS Tracker (on Amazon). Since it has real-time tracking, it gives an unprecedented peace of mind.
If you are proactive in terms of making sure that your beagle has been microchipped and/or GPS’d, your mind will be much more at ease knowing that if they do escape from home, they won’t make it that far. Fortunately, even if they do get away — the odds are definitely in their favor of being found.
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