What must be done if a stray dog is found

Dogs are often seen wandering around. If you see an obviously lost dog on the countryside, would you pull over, be a Good Samaritan and try to help the stray or would you drive on and chuck the pitiful sight as one of the facts of life? Dogs get lost all the time as these animals are lured to wander by interesting scents and sounds. Dogs are noted for their good sense of direction but they do get lost anyway because some cruel owner fed up with the task of caring for the dog would just dump the pet.

Dogs have different personalities…some are friendly, some are not. Be cautious with your decision to help a stray dog as even a small tame looking dog can bite. Be very careful if you decide to stop and help the animal. Approach the dog with caution as a cornered animal can turn aggressive. This unknown animal also has an unknown vaccination status. Approach the dog only when it has not shown aggression. But if the dog is aggressive, your only recourse would be to notify the animal control authorities.

A naturally friendly stray dog will follow any person. Strays are commonly hungry and the sight of food can make an aloof dog docile. Gentle coaching and the offer of food would make an aloof stray dog submissive. The first thing that must be done is to check for identification tags so that the owners can be notified.

If the dog has no identification tags, you can either take the dog to an animal shelter or take the dog home while trying to find its owners. A vet visit is a must before you take the dog home as with an unknown vaccination status, the dog can be a potential risk to the family. If a vet visit is not possible you need to isolate the stray to protect your other pets from diseases and parasites that the stray can be carrying.

Stray dogs are either lost or really homeless. Because homeless strays have been surviving on their own, they generally have a skeletal appearance. A lost owned dog may have an unkempt appearance but it is obvious that the dog was once regularly groomed. Owners of dogs that have strayed are surely looking for their pet. Inform the authorities that you have found a dog. Hanging posters and handing out fliers would be a big help in reuniting the pet with its owners.

At Sarah’s Dogs you can learn more about what to do if you find a stray dog as well as first aid for dogs and other common dog behaviors.

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