How We Search

Petsearchers Canada

We use many methods and resources to perform an effective and thorough search for your lost pet to give you the best odds of getting them home safe and sound. Though Petsearchers Canada is renowned for our highly skilled bloodhound scent tracking searches, there are many steps in the process of a successful search to find a lost dog or lost cat. Every missing pet search has a unique set of circumstances, so your search may include some or all of the following steps:

Initial Phone Consultation

We will go over all of the details of your situation and ask many questions in order to get the whole picture to prepare for a missing pet search. Lots of little details that may seem like nothing to you can actually have a big impact as to how the search progresses, so this consultation will be fairly extensive.

Pre-Search Prep

Using high-tech mapping software, your tracker will look at satellite images of the area your pet is believed to be in as well as all surrounding areas. Our expertise in the psychology of missing/lost/run away pets means we will often have a great idea of what direction your pet may be travelling before we even arrive on site, based on things like landscape, wind direction at the time your pet went missing and areas known to be frequented by coyotes or other predators.

Initial Drive-through search

In the cases of missing pets without an idea of direction of travel or sightings, we will perform a brief drive through search of the areas  determined are most likely to be fruitful. We have had many cases where we have discovered sightings of the lost pet by a passersby in the area, or even found the missing pet during this part of the process!

Boundary Setting Phase

In the cases where a pet has disappeared from a known location, your tracker and bloodhound will do a wide perimeter search to determine where to focus the main search.

Scent Bloodhound Search

Our dogs can follow the scents left behind by a missing pet even if it has left the home area. Sometimes your lost pets scent drifts through the air, settles on the ground or clings to bushes and plants. Our dogs are able to follow a trail, or determine if your pet is staying in one particular area, based on what is called a “scent pool.” You can read more about bloodhound scent tracking to find missing pets here.

Tracking Expertise

Years in the field tracking numerous types of animals means our trackers are experts in distinguishing dog prints, cat prints, coyote prints, cougar prints, bear prints, raccoon prints… the list goes on. Minute details you would likely overlook, such as bush branches being moved slightly off to the side, a clear spot on the ground, small droppings etc can all help lead our expert Pet Detective on the trail of your missing pet.


Petsearchers Canada has included Drone aerial/ground team searches to our arsenal of tools to help locate missing pets. We coordinate through use of GPS and radio systems and work as a team in the pursuit and capture of your roaming pet. Our drone has the technology to zone in on your pet and automatically follows up to 5 kms away. We have constant live streaming of the search and can video record and take pictures as well. An aerial search can be an extraordinarily effective tool when we have a pet roaming at large in a rural or mountainous setting where there is just too much ground to cover to be able to track your pet on foot in a timely fashion.

Missing Pet Posters

Petsearchers Canada includes specialized weather resistant, (12 x 18 inch), highly visible signs as a tool to help find your lost pet in all of our searches without a direct walk up find. We use all of the information gathered through the search process to determine the locations that are most likely to receive sightings of your lost pet. We have had cases where owners had put out literally hundreds of their own posters with no results and after Petsearchers Canada’s highly visible signs went up, they almost immediately received calls and sightings of their lost/missing pet.

The location of the posters is determined based on the results of your bloodhound search or your expert foot tracking search, to ensure they are placed in the area your lost cat or dog is most likely to be in.

Humane Live Traps

For the super elusive, a trap can be baited and set in the area your missing pet is believed to be in. Many times, missing cats and dogs instinctively turn semi-feral due to the fear of being lost and alone, and will often be non-responsive to their owners pleas and even run or hide. A humane live trap set in the right location has helped Petsearchers Canada return hundreds missing cats and dogs to their owners. We have every size trap in our arsenal enabling us to capture any size dogs or cats from Chihuahuas to Mastiffs.

Infrared Live Streaming Camera Surveillance

Unsure if it’s your missing cat or dog or a raccoon stealing the food left out overnight? To help confirm that it is your pet frequenting an area with sightings, we can set up a high tech infrared camera to catch them in the act. We also use these cameras to let us know immediately if your pet is caught in our traps or even lurking around.

Infrared Thermal Imaging Equipment

Used to determine if a lost cat or dog is holed up in a small dark place, like under a porch where there is no visibility, in a locked barn or garage, or a thicket of bushes that it is impossible to see through. The heat sensor notifies us that there is a warm blooded animal somewhere in there, even if we can’t see it. This is an invaluable tool. We can scan a open field or wooded area and immediately tell if a animal is hiding or lurking around..

 Capture Nets

small enough to catch a Chihuahua and large enough to capture a bullmastiff.


The long poles with a loop on the end, often used to catch a dog or cats as it tries to run by.

Specialized Search Lights  

We use specialized search lights designed for after dark and daylight searches that are specially developed for different purposes. Some are designed to reflect off of a hidden animals eyes, some are designed to reflect on organic substances (i.e. blood). All offer advanced searching and investigative capabilities than using  standard flashlights.

20,000,000 Candle Power Portable Searchlights

Yes, that right. 20 million! Batman’s signal light doesn’t hold a candle to the power of these lights. There is no such thing as too dark for a search!

Binocular and Telescopes

From high tech night vision binoculars to long distance telescopes darkness or distance viewing issues are totally eliminated. We will see your pet without them even knowing that we are in the area.


Please note: each search is unique and presents a different set challenges; our search may include a few, many or all of these steps and specialized tools.