Scenting is a way of attracting your missing pet back home, if they went missing from your property or back to one area if lost further afield. 


To attract a lost dog back to the house, or to the location where you last saw your him/her and/or wherever you have a believable recent sighting, or to a food station (see below):

You can leave some of your belongings that have your scent on, on the ground. Take items from the laundry basket that have not been washed. T-shirts, sheets/pillowcases, underwear, etc. 

You can also leave your pet's bed at the entrance to your property, or if lost from further afield, where it went missing from. 

You can also rub toilet paper on your body to get your scent on it and drop it around a small area, as that is biodegradable.

Use your urine - it might sound gross, but it does work. Get all the family to drink as much water as possible and then wee into a receptacle that you can then decant into a plant spray bottle. Spray around the immediate area to attract your dog.

You can also empty the contents of your vaccum cleaner and spread that in the area.


Set up a feeding station only at the location where you last saw your dog and/or wherever you have a believable recent sighting.

A feeding station can be a largish plastic box, lying on its side, with a bowl of water and some wet food inside. Lying the box on its side helps to keep the rain off. You will need to check this several times a day and preferably overnight if you can, in order to see if the food has been taken. It is possible that wildlife such as foxes/ local cats etc. will also come and help themselves, so it needs topping up regulalrly.

If there are waste bins from golf clubs and/or restaurants/shops in the area, you can set up your own food station there if they allow it, if you think your dog may be visiting the bins to find food, or if you had a recent sighting near there.

You can leave trails close by, of fish oil, or Liquid Smoke to entice your dog to the feeding station.

Ask searching volunteers not to trail food everywhere they go, because if your dog is out there, you want him or her to stay in one place, not to be travelling the streets searching out food that he/she knows people are leaving out.


If you think your dog is still close to where they went missing, or if you think it may be close to home, you can use a BBQ to attract them.

You can use a disposable foil one and sit quietly beside it. Best food items to cook are strong smelling ones; remember you won't be eating the food you are cooking so it doesn't have to appetising to you.
Frozen Chicken Kievs, burgers (cheap ones), tins of sardines or mackerel (open the tin and sit in on the BBQ intact), smoked sausage and tripe are all good to use.  

Late at night is a good time to have a scent BBQ, as it will be quieter and you will have less chance of attracting other people's pets, especially if you are in an open area.

Obviously it goes without saying that you need to be aware that it is an open flame and so take all the usual precautions you would with a BBQ.


Have a plentiful supply of water to put it out. Never place a used, but still warm BBQ in your car to take away with you. Ensure it is completley out and cold first.