Did you know that dogs are pack animals? That means that they depend on you to make up their pack—to guide, protect, and be kind to them. Unfortunately, some dogs are treated as nothing more than lawn decorations and are left chained outside for their entire lives. ? This causes them misery and loneliness and can even kill them.
“Backyard dogs” experience extreme weather conditions, like when they’re left outside in the summer heat. In some places in the U.S., the temperature can be over 100 degrees in the summer (and even in the fall)—being left outside in these temperatures can be stressful and life-threatening to dogs. After spending a few hours outside in the summer heat, we have to find some cold air! So if we wouldn’t want to be stuck outside all day and all night, why would a dog?
If you have a dog, make sure that you ask your parents to keep him or her inside. Dogs need to run and play outside with us, and they love to go on long walks with their pack (remember: that’s you and your family!), but they should never be chained or left unattended.
You may know people who keep their dog in the backyard or chained. If you do, let your parents know that you want to help the animal. Ask them if they’ll go with you to talk to the people about visiting the dog to play with him or her or to take the dog toys to play with.
If you ever notice a “backyard dog” who is in danger—for example, if the animal is very thin, is ill or injured, has no shelter, or can’t get to shelter—ask your parents to notify animal control or the police immediately.
We know that all the dogs who are stuck outside would give you big, sloppy kisses if they could, to thank you for helping them have a life they deserve—indoors!