Picking up a stray dog can be a very rewarding experience. It can also be dangerous but as long as you take a few precautions you may be adding a loving member to your family. A stray puppy may be less dangerous than an older dog, but you must use your judgment. Do not approach a stray animal. If it shows signs of animosity such as growling or baring its teeth, it is best to let it alone unless you are experienced and comfortable dealing with the situation. A dog that is injured can very easily feel threatened by you and may be more likely to attack if you get too close and it cannot get away. However, all stray dogs are not necessarily vicious or injured. When you see a stray dog and it wags its tail or whines at you, it may be friendly. The best thing to do if you suspect a stray is friendly is to crouch down a distance away and hold out your hand. The dog will come to you if it does not feel threatened by you. It may approach you even without coaxing if it is accustomed to being around people. Once you have decided to take the animal home with you, remember to avoid making sudden movements or loud noises. Even a friendly stray will be scared by these. Feed the dog first and give it water. Keep it isolated from any other animals until you have taken it to the vet. Give it a bath as soon as possible. When you call to set up the vet appointment, be sure to mention that you are bringing in a stray. The vet will be able to check for diseases and conditions you will want to be aware of, such as worms. It is highly likely that a stray will need to be treated for worms and fleas at the least. Your vet will also be able to give you a good idea of what age and breed the dog is. Once this has been taken care of, you may want to post that you have found the dog and include a picture of your new friend to make sure that it is not someone else’s lost pet. Be careful when introducing the dog to other family members and pets. Too much at once will excite and/or scare the dog. It is best to wait until the dog has received its shots and is free of worms, fleas, mange, etc., before introducing it to your other pets. This will help prevent your pets from catching anything and will also allow the dog time to adjust to the new surroundings. See the entry on dogs and cats coexisting peacefully and the entry on having multiple dogs in the same household for tips on introducing the animals to one another. Before long, the stray dog you picked up will be a cherished member of your family.
Consider a dog bed to make your per comfortable.