How Do Stray Dogs Survive (Huge Research Behind In 2022)

We all have seen stray cats and dogs roaming around the streets. While cats can leap from building to building and climb trees in search of food, stray dogs might have a bit of a hard life. 

Have you ever wondered how do stray dogs survive in the streets?

Stray dogs mainly survive on roadkills and garbage. However, sometimes they might get lucky and find a kind-hearted person who would feed them. They have a strong sense of smell which helps them to sniff out food from afar. And since they are used to eating garbage, they can pretty much eat anything that comes their way.

However, there’s a lot more to learn when it comes to knowing about the street life of stray dogs. Are you interested in knowing more? Scroll down and read on because we’ve covered almost everything about feral and stray dogs that you need to know.

So without any further ado, let’s get into it! And believe me, this is another level of research, yeha!

What is the Difference Between a Stray and a Feral Dog?

Before going out any further, we feel it necessary to explain the difference between a stray dog and a feral dog. While both of them might look the same to you, they are actually quite different from each other.

A stray dog is a pet that has been abandoned or lost by its owner. On the other hand, a feral dog is one that has never had an owner and has lived in the wild all its life. In simple words, a stray dog is a lost pet while a feral dog is a wild animal.

In most cases, feral dogs are the ones that you see roaming around in packs. And they are the ones that are more likely to attack humans and other animals. On the other hand, stray dogs are usually friendly and might even let you pet them.

Now that we have cleared that out, let’s take a look at how do stray dogs live in the streets.

What Do Street Dogs Eat To Survive?

The first thing that matters the most to animals is food. According to studies, an average-sized dog needs around 1,000 calories per day to maintain its weight.

So, how do street dogs get their food, and what do stray dogs eat?

Street dogs typically feed on trash and dead animals found on the streets. If they’re lucky, sometimes a compassionate person will feed them.

Another way street dogs get their food is by stealing food from other animals or from humans. For instance, you might have seen a pack of street dogs surrounding a cow or a buffalo in the hopes of getting some scraps. Similarly, they might also raid dustbins in search of leftover food.

In some cases, street dogs might also eat rodents, snakes, and lizards. While this might not be the most appetizing meal for us, it provides them with much-needed protein and other nutrients.

So, these are some of the ways street dogs get their food. Now let’s take a look at where do they sleep.

How Long Can a Stray Dog Survive Without Food?

On average, a stray dog can survive without food for about five days. However, this greatly depends on the weather conditions and the availability of water. If the weather is extremely hot, then the survival period might reduce to days or even

During summertime, as the temperature soars, these dogs often suffer from dehydration and heatstroke. Many of them die due to these reasons. Winter is also harsh for them as they can get frostbite or suffer from hypothermia.

Lack of proper shelter is another big problem they face. They often sleep on the streets, in the parks, or under cars. As they don’t have a warm bed to sleep in, they are prone to diseases.

These dogs also suffer from various kinds of parasites like fleas, ticks, and mites. These parasites not only make their life miserable but can also lead to serious health problems.

So, these are some of the things you need to keep in mind when it comes to survival without food.

What Can You Feed A Stray Dog And How To Feed Them?

At this point, you must be feeling very sorry and you might have set your mind to help those poor animals by feeding them. 

But before you do that, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind:

  1. First of all, you should never feed a stray dog with your bare hands. This is because they might mistake your hand for food and bite you. Similarly, you should also avoid petting them as they might see it as a threat.
  2. Another thing to keep in mind is that you should never feed them with table scraps. This is because our food is not meant for dogs and it might make them sick. Instead, you should give them dog food that is specifically designed for their nutritional needs.
  3. And last but not least, you should always wash your hands after feeding a stray dog. This is to ensure that you don’t transfer any bacteria or germs from their mouth to yours.
This is an amazing guide about how to treat stray dogs and how to rescue them. Thanks to Amazing Dogs for such an informative video.

So, these are some of the things that you need to keep in mind before feeding a stray dog. Now let’s take a look at how they reproduce.

Where Do Stray Dogs Live and Where Do They Sleep?

Valia says that she spend a month with stray dogs and she noticed and learned these things about stray dogs. Thanks to her and her channel The Orphan Pet for such amazing documentaries.

When it comes to finding a place to sleep, you might think that where do stray dogs go? But, let me tell you that feral and stray dogs are quite resourceful. They can pretty much sleep anywhere they want whether it be in an abandoned building, under a bridge, in a dumpster, or even on the streets.

In most cases, they tend to sleep in areas where there is not much human activity. This helps them to stay away from humans as well as other animals that might pose a threat to them.

During summer, you might see stray dogs sleeping on the streets during the day. This is because the pavement gets too hot for them to sleep on and they want to avoid contact with the hot surface.

During winters, on the other hand, you might see them huddled together in a group. This helps them to stay warm and survive in cold weather conditions.

So, these are some of the places where stray dogs sleep. Now let’s take a look at how they protect themselves.

How do Street Dogs Protect Themselves?

When it comes to self-defense, street dogs have to be on their toes all the time. They never know when they might come across a predator or when they might get into a fight with another animal.

  1. The best way for them to protect themselves is by staying in a pack. This way they can watch each other’s backs and also have a better chance of deterring predators.
  2. Another way they protect themselves is by barking. Barking not only scares away predators but also alerts other animals of potential danger.

In some cases, street dogs might also use their teeth and claws to fight off predators or other animals. However, this is usually a last resort for them as they might end up getting hurt in the process.

How can you protect yourself from Street Dogs?

As we have talked about them, we should also learn how we should protect ourselves from some aggressive street dogs, especially like some Pitbulls in America, hehe. Well, this video by Bright Side will teach you all about this question. So, let’s watch.

Thanks to Bright Side for such an amazing and informative piece of content.

How Do Stray Dogs Survive Winter?

When it comes to survival in winter, street dogs have to be extra careful. This is because the cold weather can lead to various health problems such as hypothermia, frostbite, and dehydration.

  1. The best way for them to survive winter is by finding a warm place to sleep. As we mentioned before, they might huddle together in a group or sleep in an abandoned building.
  2. Another way they can survive winter is by eating more. This helps them to generate more body heat and also provides them with the energy they need to stay active. However, not all dogs are able to survive harsh and cold weather.

How Long Can a Dog Survive in the Cold?

The answer to this question depends on several factors such as the breed of the dog, its age, health condition, and how long it has been exposed to cold weather.

Generally speaking, most dogs can survive in cold weather for a short period of time. However, there are some breeds that are better equipped to deal with cold weather than others.

For instance, breeds like the Alaskan Malamute and the Siberian Husky have thick coat of fur that helps them to stay warm in the cold weather. Similarly, breeds like St. Bernard and Newfoundland also have thick coat of fur that protects them from cold weather.

On the other hand, breeds like the Chihuahua and the Pomeranian have thin coat of fur that does not offer much protection from the cold weather. These breeds are more susceptible to hypothermia and can die from exposure to cold weather.

Similarly, puppies and senior dogs are also more susceptible to cold weather as they cannot regulate their body temperature as well as adult dogs.

So, these are some of the things you need to keep in mind when it comes to survival in the cold weather or generally the street dog lifespan.

Stray Dog Breed on the Basis of Countries They Live in

There are different types of street dog breed found in different countries. Some of them are the following.

  1. In the United States, the most common stray dog breed is the Pit Bull. This breed is known for being aggressive and is often used for dog fighting.
  2. Similarly, in India, the most common stray dog breed is the street dog. These dogs are usually scavengers and can be found throughout the country. They are often malnourished and suffer from various health problems.
  3. In Russia, the most common stray dog breed is the Husky. This breed is well-adapted to cold weather and can be found in many of rural areas. They are also used for sledding and other outdoor activities.
  4. Lastly, in Australia, the most common stray dog breed is the Rottweiler. This breed is known for being territorial and protective of its owner.

Frequently Asked Questions

which are the countries with most stray dogs?

There are a number of countries with high stray dog populations, including India, the United States, Russia, and Australia. Among all these countries India is the largest one with the most unprotected and abandoned dogs.

How many days can a stray dog survive without food?

According to different studies conducted by researchers, a healthy stray dog can survive for five days without food. However, the survival rate greatly decreases if the climate is extremely hot or cold.

Do street dogs make good pets?

The answer to this question depends on different factors. Yes, street dogs can make good pets if they are properly trained and socialized. However, they might not be the best option for everyone as they can be aggressive and territorial.

What Makes a Dog a Stray?

A dog is considered to be a stray if it does not have a home or an owner. These dogs often live on the streets and are prone to various health problems. Stray dogs are generally not well-cared for and often suffer from malnutrition.

What do You Feed a Dog You Just Found?

As mentioned earlier, you should feed stray dogs only specialized dog foods because they are formulized to meet all the nutritional requirements of these dogs. You can also give them cooked chicken, rice, or pasta as a temporary measure until you find suitable dog food.


In conclusion, stray dogs often have a hard life as they have to struggle to survive. They are often malnourished and suffer from various health problems. These dogs also face a number of dangers on the streets.

So, if you come across a stray dog, it is important to provide it with food and shelter. Additionally, you should also take it to the nearest vet for a check-up. Lastly, you should also consider adopting these dogs as they make great pets.

We hope after reading this article, you will be more aware of the plight of stray dogs and How Do Stray Dogs Survive. And I’m pretty much sure you will do your best to help them.

Leave a Comment