February is designated as Unchain A Dog Month. And we definitely want to help spread this message! More and more place are making it illegal to keep a dog chained. This is one change we are happy to see. A vet offers some information on this below.
A Harmful Practice
Chained dogs are very vulnerable to illness, disease, and parasites. Being continuously exposed to the elements, they are not only susceptible to frostbite and heatstroke, but they’re also very uncomfortable. Dogs that are chained are also at higher risk of being stolen, though it’s possible that some of the ‘thieves’ are actually rescuers. There’s also the dangers of attacks from wild animals and strangulation.
Chaining is also terrible for dogs emotionally. Fido needs interaction, stimulation, love, and exercise to thrive. Being bored, unhappy, lonely, and uncomfortable can cause even the sweetest dogs to become aggressive. In fact, dogs that have been chained up are three times more likely to bite than unchained pups.
When talking about chained dogs, we’re referring to the pups that are kept chained for long periods of time. This means tying Fido up isn’t automatically abusive in and of itself. For example, someone with an unfenced yard may have a cable run so their pets can have some exercise and outside time. Likewise, if you’re camping, you may also tie your pooch up, or to keep him out of the way while you’re working on a project, grilling, or have a young child running around. However, these situations are the exception, rather than the rule.
Speaking of rules, a New York law, passed in 2011, makes it against the law to tie dogs up for more than three hours in a 12-hour period. That’s a good rule to follow. Your canine buddy should spend the rest of his time with you, collecting belly rubs and ear scratches.
Speak up, if you know of a chained dog. Contacting local authorities or animal rescues are your best options. 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 realize that sometimes the owners just don’t know any better. That’s why a big part of the focus on Unchain A Dog Month is on raising awareness about the topic. Spread the word!
As your animal clinic, we’re here for you. Contact us anytime!