I found a lost dog, what do I do now?

If you come across a strange dog on your walk, put safety first, especially if you have your own dog. Don’t approach them. This is because you don’t know if the loose dog is friendly and you don’t know how your dog will react to them in your space, it’s best to stay clear. 

If you walk your dog in an area where loose dogs or coyotes appear often, think about carrying a small air horn with you. This way, when the dog approaches you, you can use it to scare it off, keeping you and your dog safe.

If you are concerned about getting a dog home, carry treats with you, even when you don’t have your dog, this way you have something to offer the dog who might seem nervous. Like before, you’re not going to approach the dog. Encourage them to approach you but watch your actions, if you make fast sudden movements, you could startle the dog. Instead, stand turned to the side with your hand extended, make kissy noises or speak in a soft high pitch voice. If the dog is weary to approach again don’t move towards it, but start throwing some of your treats towards the dog and avoid making direct eye contact.

If you are able to get the dog close enough and it will let you touch its collar, then you should be able to find a contact number on one of their tags, for example the vet’s number from the rabies tag or a personal phone number from another identification source. If not, consider contacting your local humane society, they will be able to give you advice on what to do if there is no information on the collar or no collar at all. They will hopefully be able to dispatch someone to assist you and the dog.

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