How Can I Track My Stolen or Missing Dog? 9 Best Solutions

Last Updated on July, 2024

As a pet parent, suddenly losing your loving dog is terrifying and stressful. But, it is crucial to stay calm and take swift action to bring your missing dog home.

Don’t panic! We’ve got your back!

In this article, you will learn how to track your stolen dog quickly.

So, keep reading to discover the best tips to track your missing pet as soon as possible.

Quick Summary

Immediate action is crucial when a pet goes missing or is stolen. Various methods such as filing a police report, alerting neighbors, using microchips, GPS trackers, and sniffer dogs can be effective in tracking a stolen dog.

Sending out lost pet alerts is an effective way to share and spread information to find a lost dog.

Prevention is key – steps like microchipping, using GPS trackers, and keeping dogs on a leash can help prevent pet theft.

How to Track a Stolen Dog?

a dog standing on the ground

Pet owners should keep in mind that finding a stolen pet requires immediate action.

So, here are the most EFFECTIVE things you can do to track and reunite with your lost pet.

File a Police Report

Did you know that pets are considered property in most states?

So, if your dog has been stolen, the police play an important role in recovering your lost dog.

Therefore, you must report your pup missing to your local police department or sheriff’s office immediately.

A police report will be beneficial for identifying and retrieving your lost dog. 

Alert the Neighbors That Your Dog’s Been Stolen

Alerting the neighbors and others nearby increases the chances of finding your missing dog.

It is also important to ask the neighbors to assist you in searching the immediate surroundings and larger radius.

Moreover, ask the people nearby whether they have seen the lost pet recently.

Perhaps someone has evidenced the theft and captured a license plate number. And these details may give you some leads. 

That’ll be a huge RELIEF, right?

a man talking to the Neighbor

Also, don’t forget to share any leading information with the police.

Track the Dog With a Microchip

If your lost dog has been microchipped, you have a GREAT chance of finding your missing pet.

Microchip information can be of excellent help in finding a lost dog.

But for that, you should ensure that your lost pet has been successfully registered with the microchip company.

The American Kennel Club recommends that dog owners post a stolen article on the National Crime Information Center. And this article should include the details of the lost pet’s microchip’s unique serial number and the dog’s description.

So, pet owners can take the below-mentioned actions to track their lost dogs with a microchip.

  • Go to the microchipping company’s website and enter your lost dog’s serial number.
  • Tell the microchipping company that your pup is stolen. So, they will inform the animal shelters.
  • Contact the vet that injected the microchip to get more information.
  • Call shelters, vets, and animal rescue to see if they have scanned any lost dogs with information matching your missing pet.

If someone found your lost pet and took him to a local animal shelter or vet, they would scan your pup for a microchip.

As a result, your lost dog’s location will be reflected in the microchipping database. And it will also show the dog’s details and information about the owner.

So, the founder can then easily contact you if the microchip contains accurate and updated contact information.

Microchips help identify lost pets if they are lost and found.

However, microchips do not have GPS features and cannot provide the real-time location of dogs. So, pet parents cannot solely rely on a microchip to find their lost pets.

Track the Dog With GPS

Thanks to modern technology, you can track and monitor your loving pet’s location.

And pet GPS trackers are one of the BEST technological devices that allow dog parents to find a lost dog.

But your stolen pet must wear a tracker until you can pinpoint his exact location. In most cases, the thief will easily remove the collar. 

And this will make you CLUELESS about the whereabouts of your lost pet.

a dog wearing gps trackers

Most GPS trackers are small devices attached to a dog’s collar. And you can view your pet’s real-time location using a smartphone app.

So, you do not have to worry as long as your pup has a reliable GPS tracker around his neck.

You can also receive quick notifications about your lost dog’s location via the tracker’s smartphone app.

Moreover, top GPS trackers also come with Geo-fence features. It allows you to receive alerts whenever your pup leaves a pre-assigned safe zone.

However, many GPS tracking devices require annual subscription fees, an activated SIM, and batteries.

Although a GPS dog tracking collar can be costly, it is worth buying if you want to ensure your loving pooch’s safety.

We have a list of recommended Dog GPS Trackers on our website.

Hire a Sniffer Dog

Many pet owners have reunited with their lost dogs thanks to pet detectives and sniffer dogs.

Professional pet detectives engage Bloodhounds or other sniffer dogs to pick up and follow the scent of a lost dog.

Bloodhounds especially have a keen sense of smell. So, you can employ these dogs to search for your lost dog.

Even though hiring a pet detective can cost you hundreds of dollars; fortunately, it will assist you in retrieving your lost dog.

Send Out Stolen Dog Alerts

Sending out lost pet alerts is a BRILLIANT way to share and spread information to find a lost dog.

Also, if you can hang large, colorful,and bright neon “ lost dog” posters in your area, it’ll be more visible and easier to search for our lost pet.

And don’t forget! On the posters, you must include your contact information, including your phone number.

So, here’s the necessary information that you should include in a lost dog poster.

missing pet note on the tree
  • Description of the lost dog, including any distinctive or recognizable features
  • A photo of the lost pet
  • Last known location
  • Microchip ID number
  • Collar tag details
  • Your contact details
  • Reward details

When you send out lost dog alerts, the people in those locations will be more aware of your search.

And if the thief notices the flier and sees the reward details, they may respond expecting the reward. 

Also, keep in mind that it is better to leave the amount of the reward private. BEWARE of the scammers!

And according to pet detectives, it is better to use words like “Please Help” and stick to brief and easy-to-read information when creating posters.

Moreover, you can distribute flyers with your contact information to mail carriers, joggers, dog walkers, and anyone else who frequently passes your area.

Furthermore, you can post notices at dog parks, veterinary offices, grocery stores, laundromats, pet stores, local animal shelters, and other significant places.

Apart from that, you can regularly check listings of lost and found pets to see if any updates match your furry friend.

Visit Animal Shelters and Animal Rescue

Of course, there is a greater possibility of finding your lost dog with the help of local shelters and animal rescue.

When someone finds a stray or lost pet, they are more likely to report to vet offices, and animal rescuers. 

You can try animal hospitals, veterinary offices, animal shelters, and animal rescue authorities and check if someone has taken in a pet matching the description of your lost dog.

Even if you finish checking every local animal shelter and rescue authorities in your area, keep going and do not give up.

Keep checking and calling the animal shelters regularly until you find your loving pet.

And you can distribute the lost dog fliers to the staff as well. However, ensure that you include an accurate phone number in case someone finds your lost pet. 

Contact Local Media Outlets

Reaching out to local media outlets like a local newspaper, radio, and television increases the chances of tracking and finding lost pets.

Also, you should provide the information of the situation and a photo of your pet to arouse the empathy of others.

Don’t Give Up

Sometimes you may get discouraged if your loving pet goes missing for a long time.

But luckily, many dog owners eventually reunite with their furry friends again.

So, no matter how many days, weeks, or months it takes, do not give up searching for your loving pup so quickly.

Never lose hope! You will search and find your lost pet someday.

What if you’ve lost your dog at night? how to find him? Read this guide.

How to Prevent Your Dog From Being Stolen?

a man hugging a dog

As a pet owner, you should always keep your pup safe and prevent him from being stolen. There are various things that you can do to ensure your pup is never stolen again.

So, here are some important tips to prevent your best friend from being stolen.

  • Make sure that your dog always wears a high-quality collar. It should include details, including the ID tag, your phone number, and your address.
  • Microchip your dog. Ensure the microchip is successfully registered.
  • Attach a reliable and effective GPS pet tracker to your dog’s collar.
  • Ensure your dog’s safety during car rides. Keep your dog in a particular dog seat or a container. And never leave your pup in the car, even for a few minutes.
  • Keep your pet on a leash when walking.
  • Even though you have a fenced yard, stay alert if it is visible and accessible to strangers. Check the fence or gate for weak spots. Never leave your pup alone for long periods.
  • Do not tie your dog outside a store or a restaurant.
  • Take and keep photos of your pup in case you lose them (GOD FORBID!).

Related article: How to Find a Lost Cat?

What are the Reasons for Stealing Pets?

The most common reason behind stealing a pet is a profit motive.

So, let’s check out the possible reasons for pet theft. 

  • Stealing purebred dogs to sell them to an unsuspicious person. Purebred small dogs like Pomeranians, Chihuahuas, Maltese, and Yorkshire Terriers can be common targets of pet thieves.
  • If the dog is not spayed, a pet may be stolen to sell to a breeder or a puppy mill.
  • Fighter dogs such as Pitbulls, Boxers, German Shepherds, and Boston Terriers can be stolen to sell them to fighting rings.
  • In some cases, irritated family members or neighbors may steal a pet and dump it off far away.

Related article: Most Commonly Stolen Dog Breeds

What to Do if You Find a Lost Dog?

What if you are the person who found a poor lost pup? 

So, here’s what you can do if you find a lost dog.

  • Take a photo of the dog and post it on social media. Also, add the location and a description of the dog.
  • Encourage the pup to come to you using calm body language. You can also offer him some treats.
  • Call animal control if the dog is aggressive and difficult to catch.
  • Keep the dog safely contained once you have him. You can use a fenced area, leash, or a safe room to ensure the dog’s safety.
  • Provide the dog with plenty of fresh water, ventilation, fresh air, and a pleasant temperature.
  • Check the dog’s collar for information, such as a phone number, or microchip ID. If you find any useful information, contact the dog’s owners. 
  • If you cannot contact the dog’s parents, call animal shelters, vet clinics, and animal control to inform them about the lost dog.
  • Make sure you keep the dog away from other pets in your home.
  • Check if the dog is sick or injured. If so, take him to a vet as soon as possible. 
  • Make “found dog” posters and post them where you found the dog or around your neighborhood. And share digital “found dog” across social media platforms.

Related articles:


To track a dog’s location, one can use a GPS pet tracker attached to the dog’s collar and view the location using a smartphone app.

The chances of finding a lost dog are high, with 93% of lost dogs being found alive and 20% of them returning home on their own, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Dogs can use their sense of smell to find their way back home, and can typically travel up to a distance of 10-11 miles relying on familiar scents.


Losing a loving pet can be a panic-inducing experience. However, there are several things that you can do to find and reunite with your dog.

And pet parents should take immediate action to retrieve their pets when they have gone missing. Also, dog owners should not give up and lose hope until they bring back their loving pets home.

Moreover, dog parents must ensure their dog’s safety and take necessary actions to prevent the pets from being stolen.

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Thomas Villalpando
Thomas Villalpando is the main author of Dogs Academy. He spends his time reading, training, and working with several Dogs' behaviors. He has been featured in MSN, Yahoo Finance, The Sun, Entrepreneur & More. You can find more about him here.

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