It’s February and that means it’s officially Unchain A Dog Month. This is a message we certainly want to help spread! In more and more places, keeping a dog chained is becoming illegal, which is one change we are happy to see. A vet offers some information in this post.
A Harmful Practice
Chained dogs are very vulnerable to disease, illness, and parasites. Since they’re exposed to the elements, they’re not only very uncomfortable, they are also susceptible to heatstroke and frostbite. There are also the dangers of attacks from wild animals and strangulation. And chained dogs are also at higher risk of being stolen, though it just may be that some of the ‘thieves’ are actually rescuers.
Chaining also takes an emotional toll on dogs. Being bored, lonely, uncomfortable, and unhappy can cause even the sweetest dogs to become dangerous. In fact, dogs that have been chained up are three times more likely to bite than unchained pups. Fido needs interaction, stimulation, exercise, and love to thrive.
Just to clarify – when talking about chained dogs, we mean pups that are kept chained for long periods of time. Tying Fido up isn’t abusive in and of itself. For instance, someone with an unfenced yard may put up a cable run so their pets can spend some outside time. You may also tie your pooch up if you’re grilling, have a young child running around, camping, or to keep him out of the way while you’re working on a project. However, these situations are the exception, and not the rule.
Speaking of rules, a New York law, passed in 2011, makes it illegal to tie dogs up for over three hours in a 12-hour period. That’s a good rule of thumb. Your canine buddy should be spending the rest of his time with you, collecting belly rubs and ear scratches.
Speak up if you know of a chained dog. Your best option is to contact local authorities or animal rescues. And make the report anonymously if you’re concerned about retaliation. You can also work to support anti-tethering laws in your local community. It’s important to keep in mind that sometimes the owners just don’t know any better. That’s why raising awareness about the topic is a big part of the focus on Unchain A Dog Month. Spread the word!
As your animal clinic, we’re here for you. Contact us anytime!