February is designated as Unchain A Dog Month. This is one message we most definitely want to help spread! Keeping a dog chained is becoming illegal in more and more places, which is a change we are very happy to see. A vet offers some information on this below.
A Harmful Practice
Chained dogs are very exposed to illness, disease, and parasites. Since they are exposed to the elements, they are not only susceptible to frostbite and heatstroke, but they’re also very uncomfortable. There are also the dangers of strangulation and/or attacks from wild animals. Dogs that are chained also face a higher risk of being stolen, though it’s likely that some of the ‘thieves’ are really rescuers.
Chaining is also hurts dogs on an emotional level. Fido needs love, stimulation, exercise, and interaction to thrive. Being unhappy, lonely, bored, and uncomfortable can cause even the most loving dogs to become hostile. In fact, dogs that have been chained up are three times more likely to bite than unchained pups.
We’re actually referring to pups that are kept chained for long periods of time when talking about chained dogs. 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 time outside. You may also tie your pooch up if you’re working on a project, or camping, or have a young child running around, 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 law in New York, passed in 2011, makes it illegal to tie a dog 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, collecting belly rubs and ear scratches.
Say something if you know of a chained dog. Your best option is to notify the local authorities or animal rescue. If you’re concerned about retaliation, make the report anonymously. You can also help to support anti-tethering laws in your community. It’s important to realize 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. Spread the word!
As your animal clinic, we’re here for you. Contact us, your local animal clinic in Fox Lake, IL!