February is Unchain A Dog Month. This is one message we definitely want to help spread! Keeping a dog chained is becoming illegal in more and more places, which is one change we are happy to see. A vet offers some information on this below.
Chained dogs are very vulnerable to illness, parasites, and disease. Because they are exposed to the elements, they are not only very uncomfortable, they are also susceptible to frostbite and heatstroke. There are also the dangers of strangulation and/or attacks from wild animals. Dogs that are chained are also at higher risk of being stolen, though it’s possible that some of the ‘thieves’ are actually rescuers.
Chaining is also terrible for dogs emotionally. Fido needs stimulation, interaction, exercise, and love to thrive. Being lonely, bored, unhappy, and uncomfortable 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.
When talking about chained dogs, we’re referring to pups that are kept chained for long periods of time. 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 have some outside time. You may also tie your pooch up if you’re camping, or to keep him out of the way while you’re grilling, working on a project, 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, made 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 buddy should spend the rest of his time with you, collecting ear scritches and belly rubs.
If you know of a chained dog, speak up. Your best option is to contact local authorities or animal rescues. If you’re concerned about retaliation, make the report anonymously. 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 realize these things. 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, your local animal clinic in Pelham, ON anytime!