Dogs are intelligent, social animals — they thrive on human company and affection. Habitually tying or confining dogs is therefore a practise that denies them their right to enjoy life. It’s common to see pets relegated to outdoor kennels or tied throughout the day near gates or in corridors. These dogs suffer from intense boredom, and they register their protests by resorting to howling or whining for attention throughout the day. Eventually, behavioural problems like aggression result from habitual confinement. To avoid this, ensure that a dog has complete freedom within his home. Playing games like ‘catch’ with flying discs and hide-and-seek keep their brain cells active while offering them a source of entertainment.

Keeping a dog routinely imprisoned is neglectful for health reasons as well. Not walking a dog regularly has several negative effects on the pet’s well-being. Dogs need exercise to avoid obesity (and related problems like heart disease), and at least two brisk walks a day are required.

Restricting a pet’s movement throughout the day is not only cruel, but is also a violation of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960. If you see a neighbour or friend habitually confining their pet, persuade them to give their furry friend more patience and attention, and to restrict leashing to occasions where it is a necessity (dogs should be on leash during walks and in common areas for those who live in apartment complexes).

Often, dogs that are ignored or neglected are found to be those that were ‘gifted’ to people who have no interest in their new pet. As festivities are around the corner, remember to never give animals as gifts to people — getting a pet involves a long-term commitment to give the animal regular exercise and company, and this decision must be made only by an adopting family that is ready for this responsibility.