The most straightforward advice for anyone who comes across a stray dog is this: you must try to find the owner. As to the specific steps you must do, please refer to the tips below.
Stray dogs must be approached cautiously. It’s in your best interest to wait for the dog to come to you. A dog coaxed will get aggressive and you might get bitten. If the dog refuses to come near you, contact a nearby canine warden.
Search for identification
If the stray dog is friendly enough and welcomes your presence, the first thing you need to look for any kind of identification. You can easily find their owner if the dog has a numbered tag on them. If a vaccine tag is all there is, you may want to contact your vet to see if the tag is traceable.
Suppose there are no tags whatsoever, get the dog to a vet clinic or a pet shop and have it checked for any presence of a microchip.
Ask your neighbors
A stray dog might not be too far from its home. They might belong to one of your neighbors. Visit your neighbors if any of them has a runaway pup or if they know of any dog parent in search of theirs.
Seek help from an animal shelter
If your schedule does not permit you to go out of your way to find a stray dog’s parents, you should at least seek the help from an animal shelter in your town or city. They can take the stray dog under their care and conduct the search themselves.
Spread the word
In this day and age, estranged people easily get reconnected by means of all kinds of modern media. Do not shy away from advertising your efforts to help a lost dog. There are many means at your disposal.
You can go the old school way of printing out posters. You can spread these posters out in strategic locations such as pet shops in your area and other business establishments. If luck is on your side, the dog parent of your rescued stray will show up at your door in no time.
You can also advertise in your local newspaper.
For quicker and easier communication you may want to employ social media. Nowadays all things go viral for various reasons. A stray dog looking for their parents has all the makings of socmed virality.
Post a picture of the stray on your Facebook or Twitter page and make sure the post is set on Public mode. In no time your search is bound to spread like wildfire. If things go well the stray’s parent will claim the dog after a few days.
Now in case no one claims the dog, you have to decide between two things. You can either have an animal shelter take the dog in or open your household to your new friend. Whichever you choose, make sure your decision is well though-out and not based on pure impulse.