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Are the Stray Dogs in Thailand Safe?

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One of the things that you will notice when you are travelling in Thailand is that scruffy looking stray dogs are a common sight on the streets. They are homeless and unwanted, fending for themselves in the streets and struggling with traffic, unfriendly humans, diseases and lack of food. Sometimes food stall owners will leave out a bit of rice for them to eat, but most of the time these dogs are on
their own.

It's really quite sad, but these dogs will not only break your heart but they could also pose a danger to you when walking through the streets of a Thai city.Abandoned street dogs are not always sweet and friendly. Some are mellow and wouldn't hurt a fly, but some are aggressive and when they feel threatened by your presence they can sometimes bark, snarl and even bite. This can be a serious health danger, because you could risk contracting rabies, infections or other diseases.

 

Here are some important tips you should keep in mind when dealing with dogs in Thailand:


Don't Approach a Strange Dog in Bangkok


Whether it is sleeping or just sitting there giving you puppy-dog eyes, it is wise not to approach a street dog no matter how cute it might be. Your approach might be seen as "invading their territory" and might cause them to attack. This is especially true if the dog is eating or protecting their puppies.

 

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If the dog happens to be blocking the entrance of the shop you want to enter, wait until it is distracted or walk in as part of a large group. Otherwise, simply give the dogs you see a wide berth and you will likely not have any issues with them.


What to Do if a Dog Starts Growling at You


If you happen to walk too close to an aggressive dog's territory, you should not run. This will trigger a predator-prey reflex and the dog will chase you. Chances are you cannot outrun a dog, so this is a bad situation to be in. Instead, you should hold your ground, stand up straight and puff out your chest to make yourself look as large and intimidating as possible. Speak in a deep, firm and authoritative voice, but don't yell as this will make the dog agitated and more likely to attack. Walk away backwards out of the dog's territory in a slow and steady motion.

 

Some people who live in Thailand carry around a can of pepper spray, a slingshot or a rock they can throw at a stray dog if they need to. If you do your best to avoid stray dog encounters this will probably not be necessary – but you might want
to do so just in case.

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These are just a few tips to keep in mind when dealing with stray dogs in Thailand. Don't worry too much, as long as you avoid approaching them and threatening their territory you will likely not have any problems with these homeless canines.