Stray dogs are a massive concern in the US. With around 7 million homeless dogs roaming the streets. All these dogs don’t have a home, loving owners or any food and water.
In Houston, Texas, alone there are about 1 million homeless dogs. There are multiple solutions to this problem, however, we still need to try and care for existing stray dogs before we start taking preventative measures. Below are 5 first steps you can take.
1. Identify the breed
Before you decide to help the stray dog, make sure to identify the breed first. Some dog breeds are prone to bite humans, others shed quite a lot and some can have specific medical needs to keep an eye on.
Especially if you have other pets, some dog breeds can be aggressive or hostile at first. You should consider taking them to the vet first for a quick check-up. They could have diseases that can harm your other pets or even yourself.
By taking them to the vet you can also check if they’re microchipped. If they are, you can easily find the owners and reunite them.
2. Provide them with nutrition
When dogs are thirsty or hungry, they are not able to regulate their body’s warmth to comfort themselves. You can aid them by feeding diluted milk, bread or glucose biscuits. Where milk will keep their physique warm, the glucose will enable them to produce more strength.
Food will help you earn their trust. After a while you will get to know their personality and know what is the best option for them and yourself. Perhaps you want to keep the pup, or you know someone that would be a perfect fit for them. Or alternatively you can take them to a vet or kennel.
3. Offer a safe haven
Dwelling on the street or freeway in the cold darkness can be pretty taxing. The weather conditions go down sharply post-midnight and getting at a place for the dogs to drowse can be the fairest thing you can do for them.
The main reason for barking and making noise at midnight is because they are in need of something, shelter, food or water. Letting them spend the night in your yard or even in your house if you want, is a good idea to give them some comfort and love.
4. Show compassion
You can volunteer to foster a stray pup to train and prepare them to go to a forever home. If you have a garden, you can easily take in a dog for a few weeks until you can find him a family. Depending on if you have other dogs or vulnerable indoor pets like cats, hamsters or reptiles, you’ll want to separate them for the time being.
Place fish bowls and pets in cages on higher shelves and keep your cats and dogs in separate parts of the house. This will keep stress levels low for all the animals involved.
5. First aid care
During cold winters, cats and dogs often undergo swelling in their pads or paws. You can deal with it using Betadine (a mixture used to cure injury) and salt. Always examine the stray dog for sores, rashes or other visible illnesses and use a first aid kit to help them or take them to a vet if the case is severe.
Small puppies get injured easily while playing and sometimes get involved in accidents because they are small and untrained. Take them to a veterinarian for regular checkups and start training as soon as possible to avoid mishaps.
Humans are more than capable of helping animals in need. Look out for stray dogs who might need some love and care and inform your friends and family to do the same. Your compassion could mean life or death to a pup in need.