Staying Safe Around Street Dogs: Helpful Tips for Peaceful Coexistence
Seeing street dogs wandering around in many developing cities is a common sight nowadays. You could see them living in small to big packs alongside human residential areas. The challenge for humans is that not all street dogs are friendly, and many get very ferocious at certain times of the year, for example, during their mating season. Since street dogs are an inseparable part of human living, it is very important to understand how to stay safe and cohabitate with them. Here are some tips for that:
- Simply maintain your distance: Dogs are very territorial and curious, so ensure that you are at a safe distance while passing through a street that is new for you and full of stray dogs. Do not approach a dog if you are seeing the dog for the first time. Many alpha dogs find it alarming and feel threatened if you intentionally try to get close to them.
- Avoid eye contact: Dogs perceive it as a threat when looking directly into their eyes. The best thing you could do is stay alert but show that you are indulged in your own world by focusing on something else that must not be in the dog’s direction. Try giving a signal that you are not bothered by the dog’s presence.
- Don’t do panic running: In case you get into a situation where the dog is approaching you, don’t think about running at all. No way you can outrun it. Your running away will only trigger a chase from the dog in a more brutal way. In such a situation, stay calm and composed, try to stand tall and move away steadily and gradually.
- Use dog food: If you take the same route every day where you encounter a pack of street dogs daily, try feeding them some dog food occasionally. Feeding them or sharing your food with them will register you as their food friend in their mind, and they will also begin recognising and accepting your presence around them.
- Read their body language: If you see a dog having its ears pinned, its back hunched, and beginning to growl, it is a sign of getting ready to show its aggression. As mentioned in point 3, stay calm and composed and do not run at all.
- Call dog helpline: When you encounter a dog who is incessantly howling, or appearing to be sick, taking refuge in lonesome corners for days, bleeding or looks injured, or behaving very aggressively, call the local government or private dog welfare associations to rescue it from its distressed state. A dog in a miserable state is much more dangerous than a healthy one.
- Be strategic about feeding them: Feeding stray dogs is an act of kindness and helps their survival in many ways. But it has to be exercised with responsibility. While feeding, you must ensure that dogs don’t get into fearsome fights. As the dogs consider the feeding places as their own and begin protecting them, they should be kept away from public places, especially Children’s Park and heavy foot traffic places. Also, after feeding, clean the place where the feeding was offered, as dogs are incapable of doing that.
In short, you can follow the tips given above and take some basic steps to coexist with street dogs safely without any conflicts of getting attacked by them or receiving injuries. Just keep in mind that street dogs will do what they do for their survival with us as they don’t have secure homes like humans. All they have is streets and streets they consider home. So being careful, patient, considerate, and understanding around them is vital to cohabitating peacefully.