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February is officially Unchain A Dog Month. We definitely want to help spread this message! Keeping a dog chained has become illegal in more and more places, which is one change that’s long overdue and we’re happy to see it. A vet offers some information on this below.
Chained dogs are highly susceptible to disease, illness, and parasites. Because they are exposed to the elements, they are not only very uncomfortable, they are also vulnerable to heat stroke and frostbite. There are also the dangers of strangulation and/or attacks from wild animals. Dogs that are chained remain at high risk of being stolen, though it’s possible that some of the ‘thieves’ are really rescuers.
Chaining also takes a tremendous emotional strain on dogs. Fido needs stimulation, interaction, exercise, and love to thrive. Being uncomfortable, lonely, unhappy, and bored can cause even the sweetest dogs to become dangerous. In fact, dogs that have been chained up are three times more likely to be biters than unchained pups.
When talking about chained dogs, we mean pups that are kept chained for extended periods. Tying Fido up isn’t automatically 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 to keep him out of the way while you’re grilling, when you’re camping, or have a young child running around, or working on a project. However, these situations are the exception, rather than the rule.
Speaking of rules, a New York law passed in 2011 makes it illegal to tie dogs up for more than three hours in a 12-hour period. That’s a good rule of thumb. Your canine pal should spend the rest of his time with you, collecting ear 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 local authorities. If you’re concerned about retaliation, make the report anonymously. You can also work to support anti-tethering laws in your local community. 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!