Most dogs will get lost at some point in their lifetimes, much to the anxiety of their owners. But because so many dogs have gotten lost in the past, it is possible to piece together certain trends that may help point to your missing pet as well. By understanding how dogs think and behave once they are separated from their families, you may be reunited with your furry family member and return home safely hours sooner than you would otherwise. 

Determining a Velocity and General Direction

When it comes to a lost dog, it may be helpful to think of your pet as a vector, consisting of both a direction and a velocity. If you watched your dog chase deer across a nearby field, for example, you should have a reasonable idea of both where your dog was headed and how fast. In other cases, a dog may find the gate left open and meander away in lazy circles. Although it is not always possible, knowing these two pieces of information can dramatically cut down on the amount of time it takes to find your dog and will help you set off on a more confident foot. If your dog has a favorite place to walk or always sniffs at a certain dumpster, visit those sites first when you have no other leads. 

Calculating a Reasonable Travel Distance

Even a tiny chihuahua can easily outrun a human, but your dog will still be limited by its stamina. Very old and young dogs may not be able to get very far before they slow down, while a healthy husky can travel for miles without taking a second breath. Generally speaking, most dogs don't venture more than a mile or two from their home, though you may need to search farther afield if your dog is particularly active.  

Alerting Your Neighbors

Of course, whenever your dog is lost, there is a decent chance that your pet has already been found by someone else. Friendly neighbors may notice your dog wandering and take it to a safe spot, but they then may have no idea who to contact. Before you head out, always post a description of your dog and the location it was last seen on a lost dog listing service. This will allow any helpful neighbors to track you down or contact you if they spot your dog, and it may prevent your pet from becoming someone else's new family member. With any luck, your dog will not have gotten far from home, and you will soon be home safe and sound with your companion in tow. Contact a business, such as one that handles Animal Lost and Found, for more information.