Have you recently found a stray dog on the street that you want to help? They look so cute and lonely — but before you decide to bring that dog you home, you need to take some steps to make sure you both stay safe and happy.
Just picking up a stray dog from the side of the road is nice, but it’s not responsible. When you take in a stray, you need to be willing to provide any needed medical attention and care. You also must try to find the dog’s owner before getting too attached.
Here are the steps you should take:
Approach with care
Stray dogs can be quite emotional, and for your own safety, you should remain calm and keep your distance until you figure out whether the dog is friendly. Once you do that, walk toward the dog slowly. Try to corner the dog or lure them with food so that you can take the dog to your vehicle.
Have some way to confine the dog or secure them in your car. The pup may try to escape, so you need to be sure you can drive safely.
Home or shelter?
If you decide to bring the pup home, you still need to try to find the dog’s owner. You don’t want to inadvertently steal someone’s beloved pet.
If the dog doesn’t have any a tag or any contact information for its owner, call animal control and area shelters. Someone may have reported the dog missing. You also may need to bring the dog somewhere officials can scan it for a microchip.
Take the dog to the vet if they are bleeding or showing any signs of injury or illness.
Use social media
No matter how cute the pup is, you need to try to find the owner. If you can’t find the owner through official channels, social media may help.
Post pictures of the dog and share information about the location where you found it on Facebook, Instagram and neighborhood sites like NextDoor.
Include information about how to contact you. If you don’t want to post your phone number, share an email address.
Check your neighborhood for missing dog posters and put up some found dog ones, too. It’s possible the dog’s owner isn’t on social media.
Keep the dog?
Continue your search for the dog’s owner for at least a month.
It’s possible the dog’s owners are traveling, and maybe neither they nor the pet sitter has seen your messages.
If you hit the 30-day mark without finding the owner and you decide you want to keep the dog, start by taking the dog to the vet for a thorough examination and any needed vaccinations.
This appointment also provides another chance to check whether the dog has a microchip that can identify the owner. If the dog doesn’t have a chip, consider getting one implanted.
If you rent, be sure your landlord will allow you to keep a dog. Then go online and register the dog as your own.
Be patient with the dog. They’ve gone through significant trauma and will need time to adjust. Imagine how scared they are in a strange place, especially if they experienced any abuse while living on the streets.
Neuter your pet
You just saved one stray dog, so don’t let that dog create any more puppies
If the dog hasn’t been spayed or neutered, schedule an appointment with your vet.
Jaimy Hammitt is a pet writer at GumEssays.com and LuckyAssignments.com. She shares her advice to help everyone live their best life with their pets. Jaimy is dedicated to saving stray dogs and cats and finding them good homes. She also writes for Researchpapersuk.com blog.