Is it safe to adopt a stray dog? Here’s the Answer

Stray dogs can be easy to train.

Stray dogs often roam around cities in packs and get to interact with various people and animals. It’s not surprising that the way they live makes a lot of them rather well-adjusted and sociable, which wouldn’t make it difficult for them to train with. If they haven’t been traumatized or aren’t fearful, strays sometimes “greet” people and animals, follow you around, or simply make their presence known without showing aggressive behavior.

How to Adopt a Stray Dog

Now that you’re aware of some relevant considerations, these are the next things you should do if you want to adopt the stray you found.

Consider a vet visit to check a stray dog’s health

If you cannot readily find the dog’s owners and plan to care for a stray dog, take him to your local vet for a check-up. At a minimum, the vet may want to give him rabies shots and one or two other vaccinations. Be sure to see my post about flu and other key vaccinations.

Your vet can also check his general health and well-being and determine if he has any serious health problems. If you have other pets in your home, this is a very important step to take to protect them. You will want to make sure they are not exposed to communicable or other types of contagious illnesses.

Is it safe to adopt a stray dog?

Don’t assume that a stray dog has been abandoned. He may simply be lost, so be sure to check for dog tags. Hopefully, he will have a city license tag or his owners’ contact information. But if not, you can have him scanned for a microchip. Microchips are tiny chips encased in glass and have an identifying number that can be read with a scanner. See my post about Microchips and how to change the contact info for more information.

If you take him to the vet for a check-up, the vet can do a scan. Otherwise, most shelters have scanners and can help you contact the registration company which will have the owner’s contact information. Microchipping pets has become a common practice recommended to owners over the past several years. Additionally, most rescue groups and shelters will microchip a dog if he does not already have one.

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