How to Get a Dog Out of a Busy Road
A dog on a busy road is in danger of getting hit and killed. They might also cause an accident that leads to people getting injured. If you see a dog in the middle of a road, you can try to get them safely out of the road so you can return them to their owner. You can do this by getting the dog to come to you with gentle words or food, and then return them to their home by looking for identification or searching for a microchip.
Coaxing the Dog Out of the Road
Make your way to the side of the road.When you see a dog on a busy road, go to the edge of the side of the road. If you are in a car, pull over onto the shoulder and stand at a safe distance from the road. If you are on foot, walk to the edge at a safe distance from traffic.
- You want to get into a position where you can get the dog’s attention but keep yourself safe from cars.
- If you are in a car, put on your flashers.
Get the dog’s attention.You want to try to get the dog to come out of the road to you. So, first you need to try to get the dog’s attention. The dog may be running down the road, standing in the middle of the road, or dodging cars, so think of a way to get the dog to pay attention to you.
- For example, try whistling, loudly calling to the dog, or making noises, like clicking your tongue.
Try to coax the dog to you.After you get the dog’s attention, try to coax the dog to you. This may be difficult since you are a stranger. Clap your hands and use a soothing voice to talk to the dog. Squat down into a welcoming position that puts you closer to the dog’s height.
- You can say things like, “Come here, buddy!” or other similar things.
- Make sure your voice is calm and friendly instead of frantic, scared, or aggressive. This may make the dog nervous or reluctant to come towards you.
Tempt the dog with food.If you have food with you, you can try to get the dog to come towards you using food. Wave the food like a treat, trying to show the dog that you have something it wants to eat. If you have human food, you can take a bite to show the dog it is food.
- If the dog is reluctant to come towards you, leave the food on the shoulder and walk away. Wait to see if the dog will come out of the road and towards the food.
Try to get the dog in the car.When you pull over to the side of the road, instead of getting out of your car, just leave the door open. Often, if a dog is scared, they will see an open car door as a safe place to go. Try calling to the dog in a friendly, soothing voice.
- It may take some coaxing to get the dog into the car. Whistle, clap your hands, or use food to entice them.
Sit on the ground.If you can’t get the dog to come to you when you are standing up or squatting, try to make yourself less threatening by sitting or lying down. Sometimes, a dog may think you are a threat if you are towering over them. If they see you lying or sitting, they may think you want to pet them or let them crawl into your lap.
- If a dog is tired or scared, it may come over and lay beside you because they see you as a safe place.
Attempt to get the dog off the road.If you can’t quite get the dog to come to you, try to get the dog to run off the road in the opposite way. You might try this by honking your horn, yelling, or throwing a stick towards the dog without hitting it. Think of a way to get the dog to run to the other shoulder of the road, out of traffic.
- Try yelling, “Shoo!” or “Go on!” or “Get away!” to encourage the dog to run the other way.
Identifying the Dog
Place a leash on the dog.If you manage to get the dog to come to you, gently slip a leash on the dog’s neck. This can help you keep the dog from running into the road again if the dog gets startled or doesn’t want to be near you.
- You can try to get the dog into your car without a leash, but a leash helps you secure the dog and keep it safe once you get it out of the road.
Look for identification.Many dogs have collars and tags around their neck. The tags may provide information about the dog, such as their name, the owner’s contact information, or vet information. You can use this information to help locate the owner.
- If the tag only has the name, it can help you identify the real owner of the dog.
- With vet information, you may be able to contact the dog’s vet, who can get in touch with the owner.
Check nearby homes for the owner.If the dog doesn’t have a tag with owner identification, try finding the owner. You may rescue a dog from a neighborhood or area near houses. Go around to the houses asking if they have a missing dog. Sometimes, the dog just wandered off and ended up in the road.
- You may consider asking people to describe the dog and keeping it out of eyesight so you don’t give the dog to someone who isn’t the actual owner or may hurt it.
Getting Help for a Lost Dog
Take the dog to the vet.When you rescue a dog, you should take it to the vet. The vet can check the dog for a microchip. If the dog has a microchip, they can be returned to their owner. If there is no microchip, the vet can look the dog over to see if there are any health concerns before you take them home around your own pets.
- For example, if the dog is a stray or been lost for awhile, it might have parvo, worms, or other diseases. If you take it home around your dog, it might infect them.
Call around to local vets and shelters.If you still are unable to locate the owner, try calling around to see if someone reported a missing dog. Try the veterinarian practices in town, animal shelters, animal rescues, or other pet organizations. Ask if anyone has lost a dog.
- Make sure to give everyone you call a description of the dog and your contact information so you can be contacted if the owner looks for the dog.
Call animal control.When you see a dog on a busy road, it might be too dangerous for you to try to intervene. The dog may also be aggressive or too dangerous to interact with. If this is the case, call animal control. Animal control can come to the scene to help get the dog to safety and prevent an accident.
- You may consider calling the non-emergency police line to see if there is an officer who could help you get the dog out of traffic without causing an accident.
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