Stray dogs are often seen roaming the streets. 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? Some of these dogs are genuinely lost because dogs are one of the animals that have the tendency to roam. 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 are wonderful animals but not all dogs are friendly. You may have good intentions in helping a stray dog but be aware of the fact that you may be helping an aggressive dog. Be cautious if you want to help a stray dog. Approach the dog with caution as a cornered animal can turn aggressive. Bear in mind that the stray dog’s vaccination status is unknown thus the risk of infections is high. 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. You may be able to capture the dog by speaking gently and offering food. After securing the dog look for identification tags so that you can notify the owner.

If the owners of the stray are not found you can either turn the dog over to an animal shelter or to bring the dog home. It would be a good idea to take the dog to a vet before bringing it home to rule out any parasite infestation and canine diseases. 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.

While some stray dogs are really homeless, others were lost and become strays. Strays that are not owned can be easily distinguished because of their gaunt appearance. An owned dog that had been lost for quite a while would have a bedraggled appearance but it would be evident that the dog was once a well groomed pet. The owner of the dog may be doing everything to look for the pet. You can notify the local Animal Control that you have found a dog. It would be a great feeling to be able to help an owner be reunited with the pet.

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.