Dear Critter Corner: I have seen several dogs tied up outside of the grocery store I frequent and was wondering your opinion on if this is a safe practice or not?
This is such a great question! No, this is not a safe practice or good idea for several reasons. Once you walk away, you are no longer there to make sure that nothing bad happens to your pup!
Someone could easily steal your pup, especially if they are friendly or a desired breed such as French Bull Dogs, Yorkshire Terriers, Bull Dogs, and any other sought-after breeds that are in high demand at the moment. They can be stolen to be resold or used as bait for dog fighting. Many dogs are stolen from their own backyards so tying them up outside a store makes it that much easier for someone to take them.
Your pup can easily get tangled in the lead and injure himself. This can then lead to him becoming panicked because he is unable to get free and may even result in a broken limb or choking himself. This type of panic can cause anxiety in your dog possibly resulting in them not wanting to be left alone or creating a fear of the leash.
You run the risk of inappropriate encounters from people passing by. If your dog wants to get away from someone approaching, you are not there to tell the person your dog is uncomfortable and he is unable to move away because he is tied to something. This can lead to your dog becoming frightened or feeling threatened and potentially biting someone. If it goes to this point, you may now be looking at dealing with someone threating to sue you over your dog biting them.
Best practice if you must take your pup out with you to the market is to have a friend with you to watch them while you do your shopping or leave them at home to begin with.