How do I keep a stray puppy? The Ultimate Guide

Bringing a Stray Puppy Home: The Story of Jake the Hound

It began with a phone call from our new neighbors: “We found a stray puppy, actually two stray puppies, running down the road on our way home from work. What do we do?”

The puppies were in poor condition. Skinny and bony. Covered in fleas and ticks. And they had scaly, scabby skin issues.

In our neighborhood, dog owners know that they can call me when they need advice. While I’m an integrative veterinarian and founder of ToeGrips, I’m just as happy to be “the vet next door.” I gave the new neighbors several suggestions for good rescues along with our local animal control—as the last option. It was important to get the stray puppies the care that they needed and a good long-term home.

Fortunately, the new neighbors didn’t need to locate a rescue. They had friends who quickly offered to take the stray puppies. A private adoption was in the works. The puppies would begin a new life with a new family in Tennessee!

At least that was the plan.

Giving your new puppy time to adjust

Certainly, there’s stress in transition. Change is hard on all of us. Before I put more things in Jake’s system to make him a healthy little puppy, I let some things clear out of his system. Additionally, it took several months for his skin disease to completely heal and for him to gain muscle in place of the bony skeletal look that he had. It was our honor and our privilege to give him a home. Now he has such a happy life with six boys who love to take him in the woods to go exploring.

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10 Important Guide About Rescuing A Stray Dog/Amazing Dogs

I don’t know a single dog owner who hasn’t, at some point (or quite frequently), spent an inordinate amount of time trying to capture a stray or lost dog. I know I’ve caught more than my share in the small town, or its rural surroundings, where I’ve lived for the past five years. I’ve caught burr-covered, obviously lost hunting dogs; dogs whose injuries suggested they’d tumbled from the back of a truck; as well as some fluffy little lap-escapees who looked like they were just out for an adventure.

If the dog is wearing a collar and tags with current contact information for his owner, you’re in luck – and the rest of the information in this article isn’t relevant. But out of maybe 20 dogs I’ve scooped up in the past five years, exactly one was wearing a collar and current ID tag. It certainly seems like the people who keep collars and tags on their dogs at all times are also the ones who manage to keep them safely contained – but accidents can happen to any owner. Here’s what you should do with an unidentified dog.