How to Deal With Stray Dogs

How to Deal With Stray Dogs | Feature

My friend Damian over at reThinksurvival recently posted this article that he found about dog attacks.  Like him, this was something that I hadn't considered until last month, when my brother was nearly torn to shreds by two very large pit bulls.

Read on to see the article that Damian sent me:

Like the article’s title says, this isn’t something I’ve considered at all! And, yet, this could become a real issue as wild packs of dogs could become a very significant problem in many urban areas.

How to Deal With Stray Dogs

As discussed in Feral Dog Packs: A Rising Epidemic for this Nation, wild dog packs are not only an issue in post-disaster situations; they are already a large concern in urban areas.

No doubt many of you have read the news headlines about packs of wild, abandoned dogs rummaging all over Detroit.

Sadly, these abandoned animals will only continue to roam the streets of Detroit and continue to wreak havoc. Due to the city’s financial woes, the city’s animal control department’s budget has also been cut, leaving the city no choice but to allow the animals to roam. The Humane Society of the United States director visited Detroit recently, saying

“It was almost post-apocalyptic, where there are no businesses, nothing except people in houses and dogs running around. The suffering of animals goes hand in hand with the suffering of people.”

**It's not just Detroit that is dealing with stray dogs… Check out this video I found that details a pretty amazing story of how packs of feral dogs in Moscow are learning how to be better beggars and even how to ride Moscow's complex subway system.

**Skip to about the 50-second mark to start the story and avoid the introductions.

The real problem here isn't just the increasing number of dogs in cities; there is a major dark side to the recent population explosion of feral dogs… One that I know all too well:

Medical Issues Arise From Dog Bites

The Washington Times reports, “Stray dogs are literally terrorizing the city as the ratio of humans to animals continues to balance out.” To make matters worse, dog bites have increased as well.

Last year, there were 903 dog bites in Detroit. This canine aggressiveness has forced some U.S. mail deliveries to halt in certain neighborhoods. One Detroit resident was scalped by two stray dogs who attacked her on her porch.

Outbreaks of rabies are a major concern for cities that have a large population of unvaccinated street dogs as they are one the most common carriers of the painful and often fatal disease. That said, rabies isn’t the only medical issue to be concerned with.

  • Parvovirus should be suspected if bitten by an unknown animal.
  • Bacterial infections of soft tissues or bone (osteomyelitis) can become life-threatening if untreated.
  • Capnocytophaga canimorsus transmission (a gram-negative bacterium) can cause overwhelming sepsis in asplenic patients, the elderly, and the immunocompromised. Empirical treatment for this bacteria following a dog bite, consisting of third-generation cephalosporins early in the infection, should be instituted in these patient populations, or following deep bites or dog bites to the hand.

Treating a Dog Bite

If the skin is not disturbed, or if there is a minimal abrasion present, it may be reasonable to watch for signs of infection (pain, redness, warmth, swelling, and drainage of pus or fluid) before seeking medical care.

Medical care should be accessed if the dog bite disrupts the skin causing a puncture, laceration, or tear. Also, if there is pain at or near the injury site, underlying structures may have been damaged and medical care may be needed.

The essentials of dog bite treatment are inspection, debridement, irrigation, and closure.

  1. Carefully inspect bite wounds to identify the depth of injury and devitalized tissue. Obtaining an adequate inspection of a bite wound without it first being anesthetized is nearly impossible. Care should be taken to visualize the bottom of the wound and, if applicable, to examine the wound through a range of motion.
  2. Debridement is an effective means of preventing infection. Removing devitalized tissue, particulate matter, and clots prevents these from becoming a source of infection, much like any foreign body. Clean surgical wound edges result in smaller scars and promote faster healing.
  3. Irrigation is another important means of infection prevention. A 19-gauge blunt needle and a 35-mL syringe provide adequate pressure (7 psi) and volume to clean most bite wounds. In general, 100-200 mL of irrigation solution per inch of wound is required. Heavily contaminated bite wounds require more irrigation. Isotonic sodium chloride solution is a safe, available, effective, and inexpensive irrigating solution. Few of the numerous other solutions and mixtures of saline and antibiotics have any advantages over saline. If a shield-like device is used, take care to prevent the irrigating solution from returning to the wound, which decreases the effectiveness of the irrigation.
  4. Primary closure may be considered in limited bite wounds that can be cleansed effectively (this excludes puncture wounds, i.e., cat bites). Other wounds are best treated by delayed primary closure. Facial wounds, because of the excellent blood supply, are at low risk for infection, even if closed primarily, but the risk of superinfection must be discussed with the patient prior to closure. Bite wounds to the hands and lower extremities, with a delay in presentation, or in immunocompromised hosts, generally should be left open.
  5. If a bite wound involves the hand, consider immobilizing in a bulky dressing or splint to limit use and promote elevation.


If seen at a medical facility, professionals will suggest administering a tetanus booster, initiating anti-rabies treatment, and a round of antibiotics as a preventative for bites from animals with unknown vaccination records. Other animals that may carry the rabies virus are cats, foxes, bats, raccoons, or skunks in the Americas.

After the wound has been treated, regularly inspect it and if fever, sepsis, spreading cellulitis, severe edema, crush injury, or loss of function is present, seek medical assistance.

The threat of feral dog packs does exist and will only increase from the poor economic downturn we are experiencing. Prepare accordingly for this issue and understand the mannerisms of a feral dog, attack behavior, and feeding habits.

The information above is extremely important to know, but even that may not be enough…

My brother was attacked over a month ago and he has still been in and out of the ER nearly every day from the infections that the bite caused… He has not been able to work and has barely been able to move.

This vicious attack was from two so-called “house pets” Imagine what an entire pack of these animals could do…

Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against pit bulls, they are not bad dogs.

It's just the people that raise them to do bad things.

Read more with these related articles from our site:

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on April 29, 2019, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

47 Responses to :
How to Deal With Stray Dogs

  1. M Smith says:

    Some items so often missing from first-aid kits but should be included:
    1.) Sutures to sew up wounds. This is a survival. there may be times when getting to a doctor is simply not an option.
    2.) scalpel
    3.) super glue. It is amazing what you can do with super glue. This stuff can practically glue your arm back on and it won’t cause an infection!

    1. Stevej says:

      I purchased a large number of the surgical super glue ampules.
      I was just curious, is there really any difference in the stuff?
      I’ve used just plain old krazy glue on small cuts. Especially those annoying ones around flex points on hands and fingers where band aids just get in the way or are always being ripped off, and it works just great.
      Is it the same chemical ? Cyanoacrylate or whatever?

      1. dave says:

        Let me preface this by saying that I have no children so I consider my dogs as my children and have medical supplies and food for them. First, I would not considere animals possible infected with the above illnesses fit for consumption. Second, thdifferences between commertial super glue are as follows…medical grade is sterile,more viscouse(thicker) and has an element of flex to it. It also has more “hold” than otc glues/liquid bandaid. Second, the researched key to preventing infection in any wound is irrigation,irrigation,irrigation. If the wound isn’t clean, no amount of antibiotics in the world will stop infection

      2. Hipockets says:

        My son,(A builder) uses black electrical tape on all his cuts and scrapes on his
        hands & fingers. Heals quick and keeps it free of dirt etc. Don’t know what the
        trick is to it,but works great from what I’ve seen. (cheap too’)

      3. Moondragon007 says:

        The difference is the surgical stuff is probably sterile, while the hardware stuff – not so much.

    2. kaytee says:

      Get some “steri-strips”, instead of sutures. Available OTC where the band-aids are sold. Easier to use, and remove, and don’t cause additional damage to tender tissue/additional chance of infection due to lack of sterility. Cover with a dressing, and if mobility is needed, use something like Coban (vet version may be a bit cheaper)to hold the dressing on.

      And, there is “liquid bandage” for those small, annoying type cuts/scratches/abrasions. This has a bit of antibiotic in it, as well as the “super glue”, and comes with a brush to spread it on properly.

    3. Horseman says:

      May want to consider letting it bleed, with idea this will wash wound out better. I’d but my hand in salt water, if hand or foot would and then seek professional medical tx. Understand if you are bleeding really bad, you don’t want to bleed to death, but when I got bit, my natural reaction was to close the wounds, stop the bleeding.

      I thought this was a boo-boo and I’d be ok, hand swelled up like 1/2 of soft ball. Was looking a debridement by surgeon until doc got puss sample and found out what the organism was and wrote anti biotics specific to this bug. Still have problems with this hand.

      If can, get to a doc, don’t know if general broad anti biotic would have helped early on. This was cat bite and they have teeth like snake fangs.

  2. Jason says:

    I agree with M Smith in that we also have to consider that there may be times when getting to a doctor is not an option. In addition to my first aid kit, I personally will not go without essential oils (helichrysum oil is commonly known as “stitches in a bottle”). doTERRA’s Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils are guaranteed to be 100 percent pure, natural, and free of synthetic compounds or contaminates. Most essential oils are naturally antibiotic, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiparasitic, antiseptic, and more! These are options I won’t go without in my preparedness plan! Learn more at

  3. Var says:

    Just another thought to go with your dog bite article: A squirt bottle of pure ammonia is a great tool to have on hand during walks. Squirt an aggressive dog square in the nose or face, and it stops the dog in its tracks. The dog will usually retreat and wine as it tries to wipe the stuff off its face. It will eventually evaporate usually leaving the dog unhurt.

    1. karl says:

      Have used rubbing alcohol the same way – but thanks for the tip!!

  4. Trapper says:

    I have given this serious consideration, oddly when I have mentioned it to others they tend to discount its potential. Dogs tend to run in packs and even a small pack could be very dangerous. Difficult to defend against. People WILL stop feeding their pets when food becomes precious. Dogs WILL run in packs and be very dangerous. Fido and spot will be as bad as pit bulls etc. when attacking as a pack. I have read that dogs are difficult to kill but no one has suggested where to shoot them or how else to defend against them. I do know that my handheld taser/zapper scares individual dogs and street bums instantly. Valuable tool for individuals. Do not know about a pack. I believe we are conditioned to think of pets as “good” and that could be very deadly. I trust that identifying the pack leader and dealing with that animal is always good form. Worth thinking about. Trapper

    1. Ken says:

      A dog carries it’s heart low in the chest and more to the rear than most animals. As with every other mammal the lungs are paired and occupy most of the rib cage. A shot to the brainstem (where the skull and spine meet) with a forward angle will instantly shut them off forever. The easiest target will be the chest or the pelvis; which may be fatal, but will be incapacitating.

    2. jake says:

      In my personal opinion, I keep two pit bulls around and a assisted blade knife. Most dogs wont attack a group especially one that isn’t backing down. Too risky to them, and more so when weakened by hunger. Something no one is considering is that house dogs don’t know how to hunt to feed themselves which means they will be starved. Starving dogs may be desperate, but also weak and stupid. When food runs short dogs may also split up into pairs or strike out on their own to get food during the day. nighttime is when they would get the advantage of sight and smell.

  5. Sooner4ever says:

    I don’t think feral dogs will be a big problem. When they get hungry, the Asians will trap them all and eat them.

    1. Old Soldier says:

      Having once been attacked by a pack of feral, large dogs on an Army Post no less, I will shoot first and deal with the consequences later.

    2. Aaron says:

      Depending on how long my food supply lasted, and whether any deer, turkeys, squirrels, rabbits, or birds were around, I might eat them too. Reminded me of a story I heard from a Vietnam vet – Mama-san offered him a bowl of rice and meat. He ate from it, and it was pretty good, but he didn’t know what the meat was. He spoke no Vietnamese, and she spoke no English. He pointed at the bowl, and (while flapping his arms) asked, “Bock bock?” Mama-san said, “No. Woof woof.”

  6. Old Soldier says:

    Why do you not have a link allowing things like “How to treat a dog bite” to be printed. When things go to Hades, all the computer files will be absolutely worthless. I would like a reply, particularly if there is a link I am missing. Dinosaur that I am, this is possible.

    1. karl says:

      For a considerable time, I have been saving such information to CDROM, and printing it out gradually as I can afford the toner, to keep in a 3-ring notebook. That way I have it whether or not the computer is running.

      Older laptops are good, too. Store a used one – about 2-3 years old) in a metal box or new, clean metal trash can with the CDROMS to prevent EMP issues. Even if the battery is shot, one can run the laptop off a power inverter connected to one’s car battery. Throw a known good printer in the can with the computer and you’re good to go for a sudden emergency where you might need a computer during the early phases of a crisis.

      1. dodger says:

        If you’re going to store electronics in a metal container to prevent damage from EMP, be sure to insulate the items from contact with the metal of the interior or, from what I’ve read, it won’t work.

    2. Dienekes says:

      Just highlight left click, hold and cover the pertinent text you want to print. Ctrl C will copy that text and you can Ctrl V to paste it into a word processor document. Then you can edit, format, or whatever and you can save the doc to print again later. It’s a few extra steps, but you will get the result you want.

      1. JJM says:

        That’s my method – makes the information available with or without internet on any device with a reader compatible with your word processor. Tablets are less power hungry, but where’s one with a solar recharger attached to the back?

        1. Moondragon007 says:

          Fifteen bucks, and it goes on your keychain.

      2. Emmabelle says:

        I have been using Save it in your bookmarks, then when you are on a page you want to print open the bookmark and it will bring up that page and allow you to edit out pictures or text you don’t want. Hit “print” and you’re done!

  7. Old Soldier says:

    To the above post, I will add, my attempts to print using Ctrl and P seem to indicate a block to printing.

  8. karl says:

    I’ve thought a lot about this problem in the past couple years. Currently I live in a semi-rural situation where trashy neighbors will allow their dogs to roam wild, attack people, poop on neighbors’ yards, etc. I have no doubt that regardless of whether one lives in an urban or rural setting, feral animals of the four-legged kind, as well as two-legged, will be a serious problem.

    One commenter above suggested a squirt bottle of ammonia; I have had excellent results from rubbing alcohol as well. I have also thought about a fire extinguisher – this could be used on either man or beast (a distinction without a real difference in a SHTF scenario). The smaller extinguishers are cheap and readily available at Wal-Mart and home improvement centers. Never tried it on a dog, but I have heard they’re fairly devastating on people – at least for the short time it would take to get away.

    Of course, once people catch on to this the PTB will have to ban fire extinguishers liek they’re doing with guns.

    1. James Curtis says:

      A can of Wasp & Hornet spray will take down grown men and beasts as well as its advertised use. They shoot 20 to 30 feet. Check your local laws as I’ve been told it may be illegal in some places to use as defensive spray against humans.

  9. Chuck says:

    Ammonia, alcohol, fire extinguishers — come on, folks, when TSHTF your trusty .223 is what you want to use on Fido and then Fido becomes the main course for dinner. You won’t have to worry about Patrolman Bob coming by chiding you about discharging a firearm within city limits, he will be too busy taking care of his own family. All of those items are for current times when you can’t have Fido for dinner — at least not so as folks around you know.

    What we really need are articles or referral to books that contain recipes for Fido, cats, rats, possum, raccoon, crows, pigeons, seagulls, all the fauna that abound in our urban environs. We need to know what animals can be eaten, when they should not be eaten and how to tell the difference and recipes that will make them palatable. It won’t do you any good to eat seagull if it makes you barf everything up immediately afterwards. If you suspect Fido contains pathogens are there certain parts of him that you shouldn’t eat or if you boil the meat for twenty minutes at a roiling boil will that take care of any nasties that he may be harboring? Is the marrow okay to eat or if not, can it be made okay if you boil it long enough?

    I think these are important questions that I would like answers to. I look at all the crows in my neighborhood and I think “mobile MRE’s”. Maybe not ready to eat, but eatable meals not quite ready to eat.

    By the way, I have it from someone whom I suspect knows first hand that brown dog is tastier than black dog.

    1. dodger says:

      Is his name Obama?

  10. Mike says:

    Another potential problem for folks leaving/escaping the city and moving to the rural portions of the large metropolitan areas are wild feral hogs, which are now a problem in most states. This potential problem may also be used as a great FOOD source. It may be a good idea to have articles on the subject which should be easy as this epidemic has grown across the U.S.
    Just a thought.

    1. S Barringer says:

      Yup feral hogs will be an excellent food source. Lots in Michigan. They could become the local “Hoover Hog”.

    2. Moondragon007 says:

      The best part is, feral hogs are not endangered – just the opposite. I’ve heard they have to cull 7 out of 10 hogs just to keep their numbers stable. They’ll probably pay you to kill as many as you can, and then you can donate extra meat to food banks and homeless shelters and get the tax writeoffs.

      The bad part is feral hogs are highly dangerous and hard to kill.

  11. David says:

    All of these are good suggestions. I like to carry a knife that has an assisted opening feature. I prefer the Kershaw brand because their assisted knives use a flip lever instead of a stud on the blade for quick, one handed, opening. The flip lever style is much faster and easier to deploy. These knives come with a pocket clip for easy transport and acquisition. A good sharp knife could put a dog or human being out of commission quickly if deployed in a timely manner. If I’m in a rural setting though, I’ll use a firearm of some type to end the situation quickly.

  12. David says:

    Chuck, just use your favorite meat or chicken recipes for cooking up fido or crows or any other animal for that matter. I recently had some venison chili and couldn’t tell it from any other type of meat. Just go to your Betty Crocker cookbook and have fun.

    1. Chuck says:

      I know venison and elk and moose are all okay to eat unless the deer has CWD and then there are parts of the deer that should not be eaten and the inference is that you can’t get rid of the prions that cause CWD. That takes care of the deer family. I assume that feral dogs and cats may have some diseases that make them inedible. I know cats are prone to all kinds of nasty diseases. I have heard that mountain lion is tasty and edible, so I wonder how that extends to feral cats.

      Dave: I hate to break it to you, but if you are attacked by a pack of feral dogs you should use your knife on yourself. If you have ever seen a pack of hounds tear into a bear, mountain lion or pig, you will realize that once they start an attack they will continue until all of them are dead or so disabled that they can’t physically continue. Your best bet if you are attacked by a pack of feral dogs is to tree yourself and kill them all. Then invite all your friends and have a feast. They WILL NOT leave until either all of them are dead or they have devoured you.

      By the way, I have just ordered the NRA book on preparing wild game. They have a recipe for raccoon in it, but the recipe is really confusing. I am hoping that when I get the book the recipe will be clarified. I will post what I think of it when I get it.

    2. Hipockets says:

      Sorry David,never got a decent recipie from My Betty Books. I have a Canadian recipie book,(which is locked in my safe with other important stuff,so can’t give you the name of it’)But it has recipies for Skunk,Moose,Possum, and different parts you can
      cook up.And a lot of other annimals. They all sound great. Got it at an Indian craft store’

  13. Rose says:

    As a frequent library user, I have borrowed wild game recipe books. also check Amazon-they carry everything, should have something. Also, try second-hand bookstores.

  14. Great Grey says:

    You should not eat any predator or scavenger as they concentrated any toxins and/or diseases.
    (Dogs, cats, catfish, crabs, lobsters, crayfish, shrimp.) (Clams and oysters are filter feeder and they also concentrated any toxins. i.e. red tide poisoning)
    Hogs are especially bad as they scavenge human waste and can transmit diseases or parasites in it to whoever handles or eats them. Also, they can infect many domestic and wild animals with diseases and parasites, therefore I will not eat them if I don’t need to. But will kill them as they are not native.

    1. Great Grey says:

      Birds of prey(hawks, owls, eagles) and vultures and kin are also on the do not eat list.

    2. Kamiko says:

      You would be wrong, since millions of Chinese eat dogs and cats daily for sustenance. this is why they have few feral animals, because they dont waste food when they find it. When the SHTF, they will be hunted for food as well her in the USA when we are finished acting like a princess and hunger overcomes us.

      1. Kamiko says:

        here, not *her*

      2. Great Grey says:

        Just because it is done doesn’t mean it should be. Even the predators rarely eat other predators even though they kill them.

  15. PJ says:

    Bottom line…dogs are emotional creatures and with their instints pick-up our ‘vibrations’ and based on that, they will react accordingly…

  16. Kamiko says:

    i have a gallon of Peroxide, a gallon of Alcohol, and lots of cloth i got from Joanne’s on clearance. you dont have to wait for SHTF to be prepared!

    1. Maxilyn says:

      Buy extra peroxide and alcohol in pint bottles. More expensive than buying in bulk, but great for bartering. Ditto the bandaids with the antiseptic already in the pad.

  17. Czar says:

    You can mitigate rabies worries by getting the rabies preventative shots, just as you would for the flu. They can be expensive but if you’re worried about rabies, and you should be if you’re going to try to go country you have to figure that rabies is endemic in racoons and skunks and is in coyotes also. Coyotes will show rabies symptoms but racoons and skunks can be carriers without showing. As for having to shoot and kill a wild dog – a solid chest shot center of chest above the leg is going to put it down. If you have to shoot the dog, shoot it, I’ve had to do it to wild dogs predating my livestock and I’ve never had one go Rambo on me and turn after being hit. I use centerfire ammo, not rimfire, and if it’s a life-and-death situation humane conditions take second seat.

  18. I read a long bunch of suggestions, comments, etc. in a Survivial website, (run by David?) can’t remember the name of it. Besides saying what they were doing to prepare, several commented that they had guns and ammo, if things got bad enough that they had to shoot someone. If it was bad enough that riff-raff was coming out of the cities robbing and killing to find food. My husband and I are in our 70’s, and live on a farm, but are trying to prepare as best we can, if the gov. falls, as I think it will, and Obama bring in Marshall and start confisticating food and guns, etc. Thus my question–if it got that bad, and you had to shoot someone, what in the heck would you do with them?? This is a serious question, as it had occurred to me before that there would be repercussions to shooting someone, but if you didn’t,they would kill you. ?? Any thoughts or suggestions? Judy
    PS, hubby is interested, but doesn’t get on computer.

    1. Karl says:

      Chuck my man you are everywhere…lol
      Judy I have to agree with Chuck. I would eat them if I was starving. No second thoughts.

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