If you have ever lost a pet, then you know how heartbreaking the experience can be. Pets are like family members, and when they go missing, it feels as if a part of our lives has been ripped away. But don’t despair – there are things you can do to help find your lost pet. Follow these tips, and you’ll increase the chances of reuniting with your furry friend. Good luck!

Step 1: Share your pet’s picture on social media 

Who isn’t on social media nowadays? Even at work, you likely have a large portion of your network scrolling through Facebook and Instagram. Post the clearest, most recent photo you have of your pet, along with a description and the location where they were last seen, on all of your social media pages. Also, share the post in local groups, such as lost pets, buy and sell groups, and neighborhood chat pages. Encourage your network to share your post to increase the chances of it being seen by someone who has seen your pet.

Step 2: Contact local animal shelters and veterinary hospitals

If someone picks up a pet on the run, they likely will take them to an animal shelter or veterinary hospital to have them scanned for a microchip and to be held for an owner to reclaim. Contact every shelter and clinic near your home to see if your pet has turned up, and email a picture and description to each facility.

Step 3: Enlist family and friends to comb your neighborhood

Nothing beats a dedicated search party to comb the neighborhood. Go armed with your pet’s favorite treats and toys—think smelly snacks and squeaky toys—and knock on every door, calling your pet’s name as you go. Listen for yelps, whimpers, and cries, as your pet may be hurt or stuck somewhere.

Step 4: Contact your pet’s microchip registration company

Your pet’s microchip registration company may have a service that issues a lost pet poster to the area’s veterinary hospitals and animal shelters. Contacting the company also will put out the alert that your pet is missing, and their employees likely will assist you with any available resources they have.

In honor of National Lost Pet Prevention Month, schedule an appointment to have your pet microchipped to help ensure a happy reunion.