11 September 2014 ~ 0 Comments

How to Handle a Stray Small Dog

When you find a stray dog consider safety first. Photo courtesy Rick Strife, Flickr

When you find a stray dog consider safety first. Photo courtesy Rick Strife, Flickr

“Growl! Don’t come near me!”

Yikes! You’ve come across a dog who clearly needs help and you want to help them. But sometimes these animals can be fearful or dangerous. Here is how to hand a stray small dog in a way that keeps you and them safe.

How to Handle a Stray Small Dog

If your own dog has ever gone missing, you know what a relief it is to get the phone call from someone who’s dialed the number on your dog’s collar, or see your missing pet run to you at the local animal shelter. Critical in many of these owner-pet reunions is that a Good Samaritan found, held or chaperoned your dog to a safe place. Knowing how grateful we were or would be to them, we naturally want to do our part if we ever see a lost dog wandering the streets. Here are some guidelines for what to do if you want to help reunite the dog and its owners.


Safety first

There are three things you should always keep in mind if you see a stray dog: the safety of the dog, your own safety, and the safety of others. When we see a dog in trouble—loose near traffic, for instance—it’s easy to panic and with the best of intentions, create an even more dangerous situation.


If you are driving and see a loose dog, react as calmly as possible. Slamming on the brakes could get you in an accident or scare the dog into running away or into traffic. If you are not in a situation where you can safely pull over near the animal, take note (or have a passenger take note) of where you saw the animal and either come back around and pull over safely or call animal control and give them as much detail as possible about where you spotted the animal.


Whether on foot or in the car, the danger might not be in the situation, but the state of the animal itself. The dog may be scared, injured, or even rabid. If the animal appears to pose any threat of biting or attacking, do not approach it. Note its location and contact animal control. If possible, stay at the scene where you can observe the animal until help arrives, so you can assist them in locating the stray. Read more about Stray Dogs in What to Do if You Find a Stray Dog here.

It is always best to do something instead of nothing when you find a homeless animal, but as the article suggests safety first is always the number one priority. When you learn how to handle a stray small dog this will eliminate the guess work and fear that you can get them the help that they need.

How about you?

Have you ever rescued a stray dog?

What steps did you take?

Tell us below!

“Safety First When Rescuing That Stray Dog”