In the past if your dog got lost, the best way to let the neighborhood know was to create a flyer and make dozens of copies to hang on poles and hand out to people. These days, smartphone apps have replaced the photocopier as the most effective way to get a lost pet’s picture seen — but not all eyeballs are equal during such a search. While a Craigslist ad might be read by folks on the other side of the city, and a Facebook post might reach your out-of-state friends, a new feature from Nextdoor will get your dog’s photo in front of the people most likely to see him: your neighbors.
Just in time for National Pet Day, Nextdoor — the private social network for neighborhoods — has launched the Nextdoor Pet Directory to help get lost dogs, cats and other animals recognized and returned home.
As of today, you can use Nextdoor to virtually introduce your pup to your neighbors by adding them to the pet directory. When you add your dog’s info — name, photo, breed, color and size — their profile will be automatically shared with your Nextdoor community. Adding or updating a profile also will get you a $25 credit with Rover.com for petsitting, walking and boarding services. (Note: If you previously included your pet in your profile when you signed up, Nextdoor automatically added him to the directory. You can delete the profile if you do not want your pet info to be public.)
If your dog goes missing, his profile in the Nextdoor Pet Directory can help your neighbors know to keep an eye out for him. On the flip side, if a lost pup shows up on your front lawn one day, you can scroll through the pet pictures in the directory to see who the escapee belongs to.
Getting to know your neighbor’s pets isn’t just handy when they’re lost — it could also come in handy if you’re looking for a canine playdate or recommendations for a local pet sitter or dog walker.
It’s pretty neat that the same app that lets you borrow a wheelbarrow or sell a bike could also reunite a family with their dog. When it comes to locating lost pets, we can never have too many technological tools in our arsenal.