February is officially Unchain A Dog Month. This is one message we want to help spread far and wide! Keeping a dog chained is becoming illegal in more and more places, and this is one change we are happy to see. A vet offers some information on this below.
A Harmful Practice
Illness, parasites, and disease prey on chained dogs. With them being exposed to the elements, they’re not only very uncomfortable, they’re also highly susceptible to frostbite and heatstroke. There are also the dangers of strangulation and attacks from wild animals. Dogs that are chained are also at increased risk of being stolen, though it’s possible that some of the ‘thieves’ are really rescuers.
Chaining is also terrible for dogs emotionally. Fido needs exercise, interaction, stimulation, and love to thrive. Being lonely, unhappy, bored, and uncomfortable can cause even the sweetest dogs to turn dangerous. In fact, dogs that have been chained up are three times more likely to bite than unchained pups.
Just to be clear, we’re referring to pups that are kept chained for long periods of time when talking about chained dogs. Tying Fido up isn’t automatically abusive in and of itself. For example, someone with an unfenced yard may put up a cable run so their pets can have some time outside. You may also tie your pooch up if you’re working on a project, have a young child running around, camping, or to keep him out of the way while you’re grilling. However, these situations are the exception, rather than the rule.
Speaking of rules, a New York law, passed in 2011, made it illegal to chain dogs up for more than three hours in a 12-hour period. That’s a good rule to go by. Your canine buddy should spend the rest of his time with you, getting belly rubs and ear scratches.
Be sure to speak up if you know of a chained dog. Your best option is to contact animal rescues or the local authorities. If you’re concerned about retaliation, make the report anonymously. You can also help to support anti-tethering laws in your community. And too, keep in mind that sometimes the owners just don’t realize these things. That’s why a big part of the focus on Unchain A Dog Month is on raising awareness about the topic. Get the word out!
As your animal clinic, we’re here for you. Contact us anytime!