How to Cope with Lost Pets

You left your dog unattended in the fence for a few minutes and he bolted. You opened the front door to check the weather and the cat slipped right through. Now your pet is missing. What do you do?

By the time you noticed your pet was missing, you couldn't find them. Now you've been searching for hours, and you've posted to all of the social media sites but still can't find your pet. It's getting dark and cold and you don't want to give up the search but it's clear you're going to have to wait and see if they turn up.

You can always hope that your pets will find their way home, but the stark reality is they could be lost or someone could have taken them in or picked them up. What do you do now? Your heart is broken over your missing pets and you don't know where else to turn.

Don't lose hope.

Coping While Your Pet is Gone

There are ways to cope with your lost pet. You certainly don't want to give up hope because they could turn up somewhere. There are stories all over the globe of lost pets that are found months after they were lost! There is hope even when it seems futile.

Here are some key tips to coping with your lost pet:

  1. Don't stop searching. Watch the various social media pages regularly. Check with local humane societies and pounds. Continue to refresh your posts and inquiries about your lost pets, maybe the right person hasn't seen it yet. Keep a vigilant search effort underway.
  2. Continue to search the neighborhood routinely. Take walks and drive through nearby areas paying attention to signs of your missing pet.
  3. Continue your routine. As challenging as it may seem to continue your normal life, it's important that you follow your daily routine.
  4. Don't obsess over the missing pet. We all empathize over your missing pet but you still have to take care of you and your responsibilities. Find ways to distract yourself by pursuing hobbies or hanging out with friends. Continue your normal work schedule and try to ease your mind and your worries.
  5. Understand that sometimes you have to let go. It certainly won't be easy if it comes to this point but you should cherish the precious memories you made with your beloved pet. Take your time to grieve and miss the pet but then consider how you may be able to help other lost pets. This will never replace the void of your missing pet but can help heal your heart.

Searching for Your Pet

We've covered various means for searching for your pet through social media sites and checking your local shelters. There are additional options. These are great, thanks to ever-growing technology that allows us to share with a large audience and host an online search party.

Now, many pets are micro-chipped which is great! If someone finds your lost pet, they might be able to track you down through that chip. But deep down, you feel like there must be something else you can do.

There are many apps available for your smartphone that have pet-finding capabilities you might want to consider. For example, the Shadow app offers you a step-by-step guide of all of the things you can do to try to find your pet.

These apps offer a strategic plan so you don't have to try to think of every little action on your own. Additionally, the app has its own community that gets involved in finding your pet as well. There several other app options but here are some of the features to the Shadow app to give you an idea.

  • Posts to the app community
  • Provides an action plan to help
  • Lets you create a downloadable and printable flyer
  • Attempts to match photos of your lost pet with various shelter photos for a match
  • Sends an alert to friends, family, and various contacts about your missing pet
  • Offers you support and help from a valuable community of pet owners


There is no magic solution to coping with or finding a lost pet. But with valuable resources and the right support system, you can certainly make your best effort and know you've done everything you can.

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