Respect Your Cat Day: March 28th, 2020
We love our cats — but it might feel like…
January is known as Unchain a Dog Month, and it is a time to come to the rescue of chained up “backyard” dogs. It is also a time to spread awareness about the damaging physical and psychological effects that chaining has on dogs.
“Chaining” and “tethering” both refer to tying a dog to a stationary object, thereby restricting the dog’s movement and leaving the dog unattended. Chaining, as the term implies, usually involves attaching the dog to a heavy chain. Tethering consists of restraining the dog with a light chain or rope.
Both chaining and tethering refer to unsupervised, long-term confinement. Over the past decade, several states have enacted anti-tethering laws to protect animals from these harmful practices.
Dogs may not speak our language, but they absolutely communicate, which is one of the reasons they have long made such perfect companion animals. They can sense humans’ emotions, and they bond with their humans.
As most pet-parents know, all their canine companions truly want is approval and love. Well, that and a comfy dog bed or a warm spot on the couch to snuggle. They won’t turn down a few treats, toys, or belly rubs either.
Dogs thrive in the company of their loving humans. Sadly, for a variety of reasons, many dogs spend their lives in backyards tethered to chains.
It’s hard for animal lovers to understand how someone can do this to Man’s Best Friend. However, to help chained dogs, we must be willing to approach owners with information, ideas, and resources.
Here are a few reasons owners may tether their dogs:
If you see dogs left chained up outside, speak up. You might not change the owners’ opinion, but you can certainly educate them as to why their pups are better off inside.
Many owners who leave their dogs chained fail to consider the weather conditions. Some dogs remain out in the heat for hours. Others face brutally cold winters outdoors. Remember, if you are too hot or too cold, it is too hot or cold to leave a dog outdoors.
Not only is chaining a dog outside inhumane, but some communities have also learned the hard way that it is a public safety hazard.
According to The Humane Society of The United States, a dog that is chained up is three times more likely to bite an approaching human than an unchained dog. Chained dogs have less interaction with people, and tend to become less social and more territorial. Chained dogs are also more likely to be stolen.
They are also at higher risk of being attacked by wild animals or wandering pets because their inability to move makes them unable to defend themselves.
You can help backyard dogs by being a voice for them. If you see an animal being abused, neglected, or mistreated, call your local police department or animal control officer immediately.
If local authorities do not respond, you can call PETA at 757-622-7382 or report animal cruelty directly through the link on their website.
Here are some additional ways you can help dogs this month and throughout the year:
Here at PetFirst, we know accidents and illnesses happen to all pets, even under the best of circumstances. PetFirst is here for every canine and cat.
Pet insurance can help cover unexpected vet visits.
Pet insurance provides peace of mind that if your pet gets sick or injured, you don’t have to worry about the financial aspect of your pet’s care and can focus on your pet’s health.