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How to make friends with pets that live on the street

Advice from Save Pets of Ukraine and dog experts

According to census data from Save Pets of Ukraine, as a result of the war in Ukraine, the number of animals in shelters and in the care of animal volunteers has increased sharply: by 20-30% in rear areas, by 60% in animal volunteers, and by 100% or more in shelters in frontline areas.

Every day we receive a request for help with food for street dogs from one or another city of our country. Analyzing the number of requests, we can confirm the fact that the situation is particularly difficult in the frontline areas. Shelters are overcrowded, animals are not sterilized and, unfortunately, there are repeated cases when owners abandon their four-legged pets. And if cats can quickly adapt to new conditions, it is much more difficult for dogs.

We are glad that there are many caring people who take care of homeless animals. But before you start helping, you need to establish contact with them.

If you want to attract the attention of a street dog, you should act carefully, observing the safety rules:

  • You can draw the tail's attention to you by clicking your fingers or clicking your tongue. You can try to call the animal. Just don't shout. Your voice should be gentle and calm.

  • When the attention is attracted, then you should approach dog slowly, without making sudden movements. Talk to him in a calm and encouraging voice and watch the dog's reaction.

  • Having approached a distance of about 3 - 4 m, you should wait for the tail to meet you by itself.

  • If the dog continues to watch you, then you can slowly extend your hand, palm down. It is best to squeeze it into a fist, hiding something tasty and fragrant there. When you notice interest, gently turn and spread your palm, showing the treat.

  • When you get to know the tail that has already come up, you don't need to stroke it on the head right away. When your hand is above the head, the dog can stop this gesture as a danger, which will cause an aggressive reaction.

  • If you still want to touch the animal, then start stroking from the side.

  • It should be remembered that now in the frontline areas, most dogs are very confused by the events that are taking place. Therefore, do everything to build their trust and eventually they will contact you.

  • If the tail is too scary and did not take the food the first time or ran away at one of the first points - do not be upset and repeat the introduction the next day.

  • It is necessary to beware of aggressive dogs. In this case, leave the food aside and walk away. Do not turn your back on the dogs and watch them.

  • Avoid dogs showing symptoms of rabies (inappropriate behavior, eating inedible food, squinting, biting the ground, etc.).

  • When you feed more than one animal, then place several plates at a distance from each other so as not to provoke a fight.


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