What is a stray dog?

Every day the number of stray dogs increases, leading to several problems for public health. But what are the stray dogs? To answer this question this post will talk about what an abandoned dog is and what are the main reasons for these animals to be abandoned on the street.

What is a stray dog

Stray dogs are dogs that have been abandoned or that have been born from dogs abandoned on the streets. Dogs are usually abandoned by irresponsible humans, who buy or adopt an animal and discover that they would not like to keep the dog as a pet and abandon them on the streets.

What are the main reasons dogs are abandoned?

Dogs can be abandoned for several reasons, most of them due to the irresponsibility of the human tutor with the dog. The main reasons that lead to abandonment of dogs are:

  • Don’t like the dog;
  • Not having the financial means to pay the dog’s bills;
  • Dogs that run away and get lost;
  • Improper breeding of dogs.

Don’t like the dog

Many tutors adopt or buy a dog believing they will always be like teddy bears. However, the dogs are restless, full of energy and need daily care such as cleaning their excretas, feeding, changing water, and practicing physical activities like games.

Some dogs without physical activity can become anxious and stressed and may end up destroying objects, or even barking more than expected. This type of behavior is not very accepted by many tutors who end up abandoning their dogs on the street.

Not having the financial means to pay the dog’s bills

It is important to set aside money when adopting or buying a dog for future health problems that the dog may have. Many sick dogs are abandoned due to lack of money to treat their illnesses. Thus, these dogs contaminate other animals on the street and even humans in case of zoonotic diseases, abandoned sick dogs can spread the disease to other places.

Dogs that run away and get lost

Many dogs can run away, mainly unneutered dogs, which run away to perform mating with other animals. However, many of these animals can get lost and never return home. So, these dogs stay on the streets and are considered abandoned dogs.

Improper breeding of dogs

Unneutered dogs on the streets can breed by increasing the number of stray dogs. Or you can also observe female dogs that reproduce without the will of the tutor and as soon as the puppies are born, the tutors abandon them on the streets.

Benefits of adopting an abandoned dog

By removing a dog from the street, several public health problems can be reduced in addition to the quality of life provided to the dogs. Some of the main benefits of keeping an abandoned dog are:

  • Affection and unconditional love;
  • Playful dogs;
  • Mixed breed dogs;
  • Public health.

Affection and unconditional love

Dogs after being taken off the street may show a little aggression due to fear of the new environment and guardians. But over time, when observing the animal care, these dogs tend to return the affection with love and many licks.

Playful dogs

Abandoned dogs expend a lot of energy daily, hunting, running away from danger and defending their environment. So, when adopted they tend to keep this energy that must be converted into play and walks. These dogs can be excellent companions on various adventures and may enjoy nature walks in addition to long walks.

Mixed breed dogs

Abandoned dogs are dogs that do not have a breed pattern and can be very different from one animal to another. Adopting a stray dog can be a big surprise for the owner. In addition, due to the great genetic variability these dogs tend to be more resistant to some diseases.

Public health

By removing a dog from the street, it reduces the number of stray dogs in addition to reducing the possibility of unwanted reproduction. Fewer dogs on the street also means less chance of dogs getting sick and carrying diseases from one place to another. It also reduces the possibility of unwanted aggression on the streets and even the death of dogs in accidents.

What to do after adopting an abandoned dog

Abandoned dogs can be adopted from shelters or directly from the street. Once adopted, dogs must undergo a consultation with the veterinarian for a clinical evaluation of the animal’s health status.

At this first appointment, dogs may need some tests for a general checkup. Healthy animals will receive vaccines and worm medication. The vet will advise on the diet, castration and initial dogs care.

Adaptation of the dog to the tutor’s home

At home, dogs should be kept under observation. Introduce the animal to a safe, cool place, with food and drink available. If the owner has other animals, avoid introducing them to the new habitants in the first few days. Caresses can be given to dogs if they allow it. Sudden movements against the dogs should be avoided, thus avoiding the dog’s aggression.

When the dog is more adapted to the owner and accepts that he approaches, the dog can start contacting the other residents of the house, and even start encouraging the use of collars and harnesses in the dog.

Introducing the new dog to the other animals in the house should be done slowly and progressively. At first the animals should stay in separate rooms just to smell each other. In a second moment they can be introduced in person in a wide and open environment, preferably not in the owner’s house, as some dogs can be very territorial and end up getting angry with the new dog.

Over time some dogs can become friends and companions. However, some animals may not accept the new dog very well, requiring training with a professional specialized in canine behavior. The same must be done in case of aggression between the dogs and the new owners.

Over time, stray dogs may feel more secure with their owners, thus becoming more affectionate, playful, and grateful for the new home and food provided to them.


Stray dogs are dogs that were abandoned on the streets by irresponsible people who may have suffered mistreatment by their ex-guardians, which makes them a little aggressive. These dogs are in need of affection and food. Due to street conditions, stray dogs are more susceptible to diseases and accidents that can shorten the life expectancy of dogs. Stray dogs can be adopted, taking love and affection to a new family as a form of gratitude for the quality of life received.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): What is a stray dog?

Is a stray dog aggressive? 

They can be aggressive, especially if they have been abused and when abandoned on the street. But overall they tend to be calm and loyal to their tutors. Much of their behavior is linked to tutor training.

How big is a Mixed breed?

The sizes can be varied, depending on the parents that can be small, medium or large.

Are stray dogs good family pets?

Yes, in addition to being considered faithful and companions when you adopt a stray dog, you reduce the amount of animals that suffer on the streets.


Bortoloti, R., & D’Agostino, R. G. (2012). Ações pelo controle reprodutivo e posse responsável de animais domésticos interpretadas à luz do conceito de metacontingência. Revista brasileira de análise do comportamento, 3(1).

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