Do you find yourself wishing you had a dog every time you see one? I mean, if you have a love for dogs then you’re set to own one, right? Wait a minute, that’s not all that is required to be a responsible dog owner. Being a responsible dog owner means keeping and loving a dog for the dog’s entire life. It also means that you have the financial means to give your dog everything he will need. This article is aimed at helping potential dog parents understand what it means to be a responsible dog owner.
Below are 9 tips on how to be a responsible dog owner:
Know Your Duties As A Dog Owner
Being a responsible dog owner begins even before getting a dog. You have to really make up your mind before getting a dog, because you will be committed physically, emotionally and financially to that dog for the rest of his life. You should also carefully choose the breed or mix that you think is best for you with your lifestyle.
Meet Your Dog’s Physical, Mental & Emotional Needs
Dogs require more than fresh water, good food and shelter. Just like humans, they also require comfort, regular mental stimulation, physical exercise, compassion and kindness to thrive well. It is therefore vital to spend quality time with your your dog daily. You can do this by walking your dog daily, playing fetch, petting your dog and/or simply talking to your pup. Regular exercise will keep your dog healthy and can help deter some unwanted behaviors.
When your dog is home alone by himself, it is essential to provide him with mentally stimulating activities to ward off boredom. You can do this by filling interactive dog toys with treats, by hiding treats around your home, and by leaving out toys/bones that are safe for your dog to play with or chew on when they are alone. This will keep your dog mentally and physically engaged while you are away.
Provide A Climate-Controlled Shelter
Do you live where there is extreme weather? As a responsible dog owner, it is essential to keep your dog indoors in a climate controlled environment in inclement weather. In the summer you may need to prevent dehydration and heat stroke. In the winter, you may need to prevent hypothermia and frostbite. Plus, extreme weather can have a negative impact on some medical conditions. A responsible dog owner meets their dogs’ needs and keep their dog safe and healthy too.
Prioritize Routine Veterinary Check-Ups
Dogs can have a high tolerance to pain making it difficult to immediately notice when something is wrong with them. Therefore, it is important to prioritize routine veterinary check-ups even if your dog is rarely sick. During these vet check-ups, your veterinary doctor will carefully examine your pup, perform blood work and make professional recommendations if needed. One simple rule; when in doubt about anything, have your veterinarian check it out.
Keep Your Dog On A Leash Outside Of Your Home
Dog leashes are your pup’s safety lines. Dogs don’t understand that wandering off is unsafe or that moving cars are dangerous. Leashes keep your dog safely with you when you take them outside of your home. It prevents dogs from running off or constituting a nuisance by scaring or hurting other dogs or people.
Pick Up After Your Dog
A responsible dog owner picks up after their dog. No one likes stepping on dog poop. It litters the environment, spreads disease and attracts flies. Please pick up after your dog and properly dispose of your dog’s poop.
Hire A Dog Trainer
Just like human children, puppies need to be trained to be able to learn polite manners. Enroll your pup into a group dog training class or a one-on-one class with a professional dog trainer. This will help your dog to learn how to behave respectfully around other dogs and other people. In addition to that, attending weekly group dog training classes will also help your dog socialize with other dogs and dog owners, ultimately meeting your dog’s mental and emotional needs.
Schedule A Routine Dog Grooming Or Do It Yourself
Regular dog grooming keeps your dog’s skin and fur healthy, helps improve blood circulation and ultimately provides an opportunity to bond with your dog. Responsible dog owners are more likely to spot bumps, lumps, swelling or painful areas during a dog grooming session. Brush your dog weekly and bathe your dog weekly or monthly, depending on your pup’s coat needs.
Microchip Your Dog
Dog collars with ID tags are awesome, but they can fall off or have someone take them off. This leaves them unreliable. Microchipping takes only about 10 minutes and will permanently ensure your that dog can be safely returned to you if he/she should get lost. It actually takes only 5 minutes to microchip your dog and another 5 minutes to register the microchip with your contact information. Remember to regularly update your contact information in case of a change. Microchip your dog today. It’s well worth it.
Can you think of other things needed to be a responsible dog owner? Please share with us in the comment box below.