Can I keep a lost dog?

Many people find lost dogs end up creating bonds with the animals making it difficult to return the dogs to their owners. Is it possible to keep a stray dog? What precautions should you take when adopting an abandoned dog? To answer these questions, let’s talk about adopting abandoned dogs.

Can I keep a lost dog?

Yes, you can keep a lost dog but make sure the stray dog doesn’t have a guardian. Many dogs are abandoned daily on the streets and these animals may need a tutor to give affection and in addition to food and adequate treatment for some diseases.

When finding an abandoned dog, you must be sure that it has been abandoned. Because there are dogs that are on the streets, but these can have owners. 

Dogs on the street may be there because they have run away from their homes. So, it is important to look for a local veterinarian in an attempt to locate the owners of abandoned dogs.

Some dogs can be adopted by homeless people. And these dogs can play a fundamental role in the lives of these people. Therefore, before adopting a dog, you must be very careful and make sure that the animal no longer has an owner.

What are the signs that the dog already has an owner?

Generally, these dogs can be in good bodily condition, which means someone is feeding that animal. Another factor that can help is the presence of collars, harnesses and identifying pendants. Some animals may have microchips that can help the veterinarian to have access to the information of the tutors.

Whenever you find a dog on the street, even before creating an affectionate bond, the ideal is to try to locate the owner of that animal. Veterinarians and the local community can help locate the owners of dogs lost on the streets.

How to adopt an abandoned dog

The best way to adopt an abandoned dog is to adopt the dog from ONGs and animal protection organizations. In this way it is possible to be sure that the dog really does not have an owner.

In ONGs, people who want to adopt a puppy can be selected through an interview and, to finalize the adoption, they must sign a term of commitment, taking responsibility for the health and well-being of the animal.

Adopting dogs is a very important act of love. Because many abandoned dogs end up getting sick and becoming a focus of disease transmission to healthy dogs and even transmitting diseases to humans. In addition, abandoned dogs are not always neutered, thus increasing the problem of dogs uncontrolled population.

Cautions when adopting a dog directly from the street

Dogs that live on the street can be predisposed to various diseases. Therefore, once removed from the street, the animals must be quarantined in addition to undergoing exams and clinical evaluation by the veterinarian.

At the veterinary clinic, the animals will be vaccinated, dewormed and treated for diseases or injuries presented by the dogs. Dogs can also be neutered.

Main diseases that dogs can have being on the street:

  • Parvovirus;
  • Distemper;
  • Rabies;
  • Leptospirosis;
  • Cryptococcosis;
  • Worms;
  • Tick diseases.

Abandoned dogs can be considered a public health problem because they are animals that can contaminate other animals with disease and take them to humans. In addition, unneutered dogs contribute to the increase of the stray dog population, increasing the problem of canine population control.


It is possible to keep stray dogs as most of these dogs are stray dogs. But to avoid problems it is important to make sure that the dog really does not have an owner. The best way to adopt a dog is by looking for an ONG or animal protection organization. Adopting dogs in these places can be a benefit not only for the dog to be adopted but also for other abandoned dogs that are cared for by these institutions until they are adopted.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Can I keep a lost dog?

​​What to do if my dog ran away?

If your dog has run away you can do the following:

  • Look for the dog in the region where it was lost;
  • Make collective searches, posters and pamphlets in addition to disseminating on social networks;
  • Contact clinics, NGOs, shelters and pet shops;
  • Try to track the animal if it has traceable tags;
  • Use dog search platforms.

How long can a dog be missing?

There is no period in which the dog can be missing. Ideally, start the search as soon as possible. Research shows that after 12 hours in which the dog is missing, the chances of finding him decrease dramatically.

When the puppies are going to die will they go away?

Dogs have a habit of self-protection, when they feel that something is not right, they tend to hide and even hide. Despite being domesticated, this act is one of the remnants of the wildest side of the animal.


Beck, A. M. (2002). The ecology of stray dogs: a study of free-ranging urban animals. Purdue University Press.

Ribeiro, V. L. S., Weber, M. A., Fetzer, L. O., & Vargas, C. R. B. D. (1997). Espécies e prevalência das infestações por carrapatos em cães de rua da cidade de Porto Alegre, RS, Brasil. Ciência Rural, 27, 285-289.

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