How to take care of street dogs: A guide for

By India Animal Fund


Amidst India’s bustling streets, a vast population of around 35 to 40 million street dogs struggle to survive. 

These resilient beings live lives far different from their pampered indoor counterparts. While the latter enjoy love and care in their homes, street dogs constantly hunt for food, battle for territory, and fight to stay alive. 

Their story is marked not just by harsh living conditions, but societal stigma. They’re often viewed as threats, which can fuel more fear and negativity toward them.

But the truth couldn’t be further. street dogs possess remarkable intelligence, strong emotions, and natural instincts. With some love and care, they can show you their gentle, sweet, and protective spirit. Supporting our dogs is important, and we want to change the tradition of overlooking their needs and welfare. 

Embracing street dogs as beloved pets in India

For generations, street dogs have been a visible presence in the Indian subcontinent. Despite them being native to India, these dogs have been overlooked as loving companions due to widespread misunderstanding about their breed, perpetuating a cycle of suffering and neglect.

But there’s some good news: More and more people are recognising the value of adopting street dogs and keeping them as cherished pets. This positive change is especially noticeable among younger generations who have more empathy towards street dogs.

Adopting a street dog offers them a loving and secure home, while reducing the burden of the street population. Through this simple yet beautiful gesture, each and every adoption supports these dogs and makes a meaningful contribution for animals in India.

Supporting street dogs beyond adoptions

It’s important to recognise that not everyone can adopt a street dog. But on the positive side, there are many ways people can help contribute to their wellbeing.

Volunteering at animal shelters and rescue organisations is a big step in that direction. These groups tirelessly provide street dogs with food, shelter, and medical care. 

Participating in community initiatives focused on sterilisation and vaccination programmes is another way to make a big difference. These initiatives control street dog populations, curb the spread of disease, and reduce suffering.

Furthermore, advocating for these programmes and raising awareness in your community or online about the importance of supporting street dog welfare is crucial! Simple acts of kindness make all the difference: offering food and water, offering some shelter during heavy rain, or even contacting local animal rescue organisations to treat injuries can significantly improve the quality of life for our street dogs. 

Standing for compassion and shattering myths

Debunking myths and misconceptions about street dogs and highlighting their value as loving and loyal companions is crucial. Educating large numbers of people is key in promoting more compassion and understanding for our street dogs. By challenging existing biases and advocating for their rights, we can work toward a society that welcomes and takes care of all dogs, regardless of their origins.

For dog lovers with hearts full of empathy, recognising the significance of charitable actions towards dogs is second nature. These adorable and resilient animals deserve all of our love, attention, and support.

Our comprehensive guide will explore various aspects of caring for street dogs, while offering valuable and practical advice to make the biggest impact!

How to take care of street dogs in India: A practical guide to help our furry friends

1. Understanding street dogs

Street dogs, or streets, are canines without permanent homes. Navigating urban areas, they rely on instincts and kind-hearted individuals and communities for their survival. Street dogs can come from a diverse number of backgrounds, ranging from being abandoned as a pet to offspring of other street dogs. Each one has a unique story, but they all share a common need for care, shelter, and love. 

2. Providing food and water

One of the most important responsibilities in caring for street dogs is ensuring they have access to food and water. Consider establishing a feeding routine and place designated feeding stations where they frequent. It’s also very important to provide nutritious dog food or cooked meals that are safe for their consumption. Fresh water should be available to hydrate them, especially during hot weather and heat waves. You can engage various rescue groups to get help with providing food for them.

3. Medical care and vaccinations

Another crucial aspect of caring for street dogs is prioritising their health. Regular veterinary check-ups and vaccinations protect them from diseases and infections. Contact animal rescue organisations in India or veterinarians offering low-cost or free vaccination programmes. Additionally, watch for signs of illness or injuries, and provide prompt medical attention when necessary.

4. Shelter and protection

Street dogs face harsh weather conditions, scorching heat, heavy rain, and cold winters. Offering them shelter is vital for their well-being. Provide makeshift shelters using sturdy materials like wood or tarpaulin if possible. Ensure the shelters are insulated from the ground to protect them from extreme temperatures. Moreover, create a safe and secure environment to shield them from traffic and potential hazards. Many animal protection NGOs work to provide shelter to animals.

5. Socialisation and love

Street dogs crave companionship and human interaction. Spending time with them, offering affection, and encouraging in play helps alleviate their loneliness and boosts their emotional well-being. Encourage socialisation by introducing them to other friendly dogs and people. Building trust takes time and patience, so approach them with kindness and understanding.

6. Spaying and neutering

Street dogs often contribute to the growing population of streets. Spaying or neutering them is crucial in controlling their populations and preventing more suffering. Contact animal rescue organisations in India or government-run programmes offering low-cost or free spaying/neutering services. By taking this responsible action, you contribute to long-term population control and improve the overall health of street dogs.

7. Community involvement and awareness

Caring for street dogs requires a collective effort from the community. Raise awareness among your neighbours, friends, and local authorities about the importance of street dog care and the need for compassion. Organise educational campaigns, workshops, or volunteer drives to foster a culture of empathy and responsibility towards street dogs. 

8. Adoption and foster care

If you can and are willing to provide a permanent home, consider adopting a street dog. Adoption changes a dog’s life and enriches your life with immeasurable love and companionship. Alternatively, fostering a street dog provides them with temporary shelter until a permanent home can be found. Reach out to local animal shelters or animal rescue organisations in India to explore adoption or fostering opportunities. 


Extending our kindness to dogs through charity is both compassionate and essential, especially for animal and dog lovers. Small acts of kindness, like offering food, water, medical attention, shelter, and affection, can change a dog’s life. Remember, change is a collective effort, so let’s come together to create a world where street dogs can receive the care and respect they deserve.