Have a Heart for Chained Dogs Week

Highly rated pet insurance company, Pets Best Insurance shares information on all matters related to dog and cat well being.February 7th-14th is Have a Heart for Chained Dogs Week which was organized by the Dogs Deserve Better organization.Why Constantly Chaining Hurts DogsAccording to the Humane Society of the United States:

∙200,000 dogs live a life constantly chained or tethered outdoors.

∙As pack animals, dogs have been bred for thousands of years to form a strong attachment to a human family. An otherwise friendly and happy dog, when kept continually chained and isolated, often becomes neurotic, unhappy, anxious, and aggressive.

∙Studies show that chained dogs are much more likely to bite than unchained dogs.

∙Bringing a dog inside or helping a chained dog in your neighborhood keeps everyone safer.

∙Chained dogs are also vulnerable to attacks by other animals.

Why People Chain Their DogsMany people initially chained their dogs because the dog had behaviors that frustrated the owner. So they ended up chaining the dog not knowing what else to do.How to Help the DogIf you are worried about a chained dog in your area, or a dog left outside without the necessities of food, water, or shelter, contact your local humane society or animal control. They’ll be up to date on your local laws or at least know ways to help.Spread the word. Help educate people that there are better solutions than constantly chaining a dog and that it’s dangerous for the dog, its owners and the community.Alternatives to Chaining Your DogHere are 5 Tips from the Humane Society which provide great alternatives to chaining your dog:

1) If you have a fence and your dog can jump over it, install a 45-degree inward extension to the top of your existing fence. Many home improvement stores sell these extensions.

2) If your dog digs under the fence to escape your yard, bury chicken wire to a depth of one foot below where the fence meets the ground (be sure to bend in the sharp edges). Or place large rocks at the base of the fence.

3) If the two previous options don’t work for your “escape artist,” consider using a cable runner or electronic fencing. These options are not perfect, but they will give your dog more freedom. Be sure to use these options only if you also have a fence that protects your dog from people and other animals.

4) If your dog digs where you don’t want him to (such as in a garden or flower bed), consider putting plastic garden fencing or a similar barrier around the area. Or provide your dog with his own sandbox. Bury toys in the sandbox and use positive reinforcement to teach your dog that it is okay to dig there.

5) Behavior problems such as barking, chewing, and digging are often the result of a lack of stimulation. By providing your dog with proper toys, exercise, “people time,” and positive reinforcement, you may alter undesirable behaviors and teach acceptable house manners. In addition, a dog who is inside the house is much more likely to deter an intruder than a dog chained in the yard.

For more alternatives to chaining dogs or for information on how to help a chained dog in your community, visit the www.humanesociety.org.Don’t forgot, the ultimate way to help your dog or cat is to insure them with Pets Best Insurance. We can make veterinarian visits more affordable, by reimbursing up to 100% of your veterinarian bill. Learn more at www.petsbest.com.

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