Every dog parent dreads the idea that their canine best friend could go missing one day. Some breeds simply have more of a tendency to want to run and explore. This attitude increases their risk of wandering too far from the safety of home.
If you ever encounter a lost dog, think about what you might want a stranger to do for your dog. Should this ever happen, here are a few actionable tips to keep both you and the dog as safe as possible.
1. Approach Them Slowly and Carefully
While some dogs might be ready to make a new friend with a stranger, more often than not, they will not be in such a state at that time. They have wandered too far and are more than likely in entirely unfamiliar territory by the time that they realize it.
Fear reactions are a leading cause of dog bites in scenarios such as these. It stands true even among dogs who have never been known to show any aggression before. Do your best to keep them calm to protect both of you.
If the pup continues to run away, you simply don’t have the time to get them to feel comfortable with you, or they behave aggressively, call your local animal shelter. If you can, try to wait near the dog until they can arrive and secure them safely.
2. Secure and Contain Them
The maneuvers to earn the doggo’s trust was a success, but now what? First, secure them carefully, so they don’t get away again. Don’t use it to control them, though, as this can quickly manifest in aggression.
The best option to use would be a leash of some sort. However, this isn’t always on hand. You can also use a belt, a piece of rope, or a longer piece of clothing, even if it is a bit of a stretch.
Keeping them safe once you have them is the priority. You might want to immediately take them to a shelter if it isn’t an option for you to bring them to your home.
Otherwise, keep them secure in a fenced-in yard or a larger room in the house.
Keep All Parties Safe and Healthy
A recent survey found that about 67% of American households own a pet. It stands to reason that you have other furry or scaly friends living with you. Since you don’t know much about your new canine compatriot, don’t allow them to mingle with your pets to keep them safe.
It is better to do this, anyway, because other animals or strangers can cause frightened dogs even more stress. Stress does not manifest in generally positive actions and can put you all in danger. Keep them in an enclosed, separated space, like a laundry room or an outdoor patio.
If you look into keeping them for a while or at least until their owner is found, consider taking them to a vet. They can do a checkup and ensure that they are not a threat to your other animal’s health.
Once you have done this, don’t take it as an immediate green light. Reduce the stress of introductions by keeping them quiet and doing it one at a time. Even if dogs aren’t aggressive with other people, they can be around other dogs. It is best to have a barrier up when two animals first meet until you know how they react.
3. Identifying the Owner
Now that the pup, you, and your family are all settled, it is time to get them back home. In today’s world of technology, this can be easier to do than ever.
4. Spread the Word
Finally, if all else fails, go traditional. Take a quality photo of the dog that clearly shows their face and body. Post these up on flyers, and give readers an actionable way to get a hold of you, a veterinary office, or a shelter.
If you don’t think that they wandered far from their home, try going door-to-door in the neighborhood you found them. Take the pictures with you.
Featured Image Credit: Pixabay