Don’t Take Your Dog If You Need to Tie-Out or Tether Your Dog


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Tying out or tethered dogs alone outside a business is never a good idea.

Yes, our dogs want to be with us, and we want to be with them. Increasingly in cities, we run errands with our best friends, and it’s merely convenient to take them on a walk when we need to walk somewhere anyhow.

However, if the destination doesn’t allow dogs inside, or if the pup doesn’t have the demeanor or house-training for going inside a store the dog may be tied-out on a street sign or fire hydrant outside the place of business. Some businesses even encourage this unfortunate behavior by providing water bowls outside.

Here are seven reasons why tethering dogs outside a place a business while you go inside is never a good idea:

  • Dogs can be stolen, particularly smaller dogs or puppies.
  • Dogs may struggle to free themselves or simply become loose and run off – and may be lost or hit by a car.
  • When very cold, dogs may be uncomfortable or worse might be susceptible to suffering frostbite. Just a humans warm up with movement, the same is true for dogs – and tied-up the dogs can’t move very much.
  • In hot weather, dogs may be uncomfortable, or even suffer from heatstroke. The dog may be left tied out in the sun, so there’s no way to find shade. Dogs are more susceptible to heatstroke than humans, particularly certain breeds.
  • Someone can pet your dog or even just walk by and claim the dog was aggressive and a dog bite resulted. Was the dog teased or even abused? You aren’t there to prevent a problem. Being tied up, if threatened, the dog has nowhere to go. A dog who wouldn’t ever otherwise bite, now might.
  • Your dog may be friendly, but a dog walking by might not be. The tied-up dog has nowhere to run if threatened.
  • Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection occurring increasingly, and drinking from a puddle or the curb might cause disease in unvaccinated dogs.

In a few places, including Chicago, it is actually against the law to tether dogs outside places of business. Though the ordinance is very rarely enforced (if even law enforcement is aware that they could ticket). If a bite occurs, you could have little since the dog never should have been tied-up in the first place without adult supervision.

Very often these dogs bark and cry when left alone, or even if silent their body language speaks volumes. Other dogs may not seem to mind, but it’s still never a good idea. I am a supporter of the Fear Free initiative which tying out a dog is most certainly not consistent, as the goal of this initiative is to minimize fear, anxiety and stress.

Clearly, the dog in this video was either scared or cold or both. If you watch closely, the dog is shivering – and clearly unhappy. This person very likely loves his or her dog and may not comprehend how unhappy the dog is or is simply selfish about wanting to take her dog with there since she’s out and about anyway and isn’t considering the dog’s perspective.

In this instance, I timed how long the owner was inside, nearly 15 minutes. The temperature was tolerable, 33 degrees, and the dog is wearing some protection though it was drizzling or freezing rain slightly.

Going on walks with dogs and taking them into dog-friendly stores is great. However, if you’re picking up food or going inside another place that doesn’t allow dogs -leave the pup home. Given a vote, your dog would likely prefer to stay home under rather than to stand-alone outside.