CHENNAI: I take care of a stray dog who lives in my building. He’s friendly. I want to take him to a vet or a spa for a grooming session as he has ticks on his body, but I am a little scared if he’ll bite. What can I do?
— Sneha Kapoor
It depends on the rapport you share with the dog. A dog may be friendly and loving, but you need to know to how much he is willing to trust you, especially if you are to put him in an unknown and seemingly threatening situation such as this. If you do want to take him to the vet or spa, first step is to familiarise him with the leash.
Approach him slowly and entice him with some treats, and if he is accepting, then leash him. If he is unwilling, do not force him. Once you succeed in tethering the leash, walk him with the leash, and continue this for a few days so that he gets used to the concept of being leashed. Watch his body language for signs of dislike or aggression and back off if he says so.
Only if you succeed in the first step, then should you consider the next step. Take necessary measures to make sure he is secured well in the vehicle and cannot jump out and hurt himself. Let the vet/ groomer know that you do not know how he would react to touching or grooming.
While this is a general idea on how to approach this, it is purely based on your judgement and confidence. Respect the dog’s personal space and don’t force him if he is not willing. As an alternate, for external wounds and such tick treatments, you can get the prescription from the vet and administer it yourself.
In case he requires specific medical attention, seek the help of animal welfare organisations in your city and rescuers who will assist you in getting him the necessary medical help. Talk to rescuers to learn and understand how to care for your strays.