Responsible Dog Ownership starts with YOU

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by Miss Moneypenny, Guest Dog Blogger

Being your dog’s best friend may come easy, but being a responsible dog owner takes work. While owning a dog is rewarding and fun, you’ve made a lifelong commitment to us that should never be taken lightly. You owe it to us to be accountable, and here are some tips to show you how to be just that!

Commitment

As a Responsible Dog owner, you need to commit to the relationship for the life of us dogs.  It’s easy to take care of a sweet bundle of fluff but your commitment needs to go further into our old age and the issues it brings.  Remember we love you unconditionally.

A part of the commitment is to provide appropriate exercise, care, and mental stimulation. A properly socialize and trained dog insures that we are happy dogs.  Besides knowing what you expect of us and being able to fulfill it, training us is important for safety and mental stimulation. You can keep us active and alert by giving us tasks to do. Teach us tricks. Make us follow through on commands. Giving a dog a sense of purpose and accomplishment will increase our sense of well-being.

Cost

Owning a dog can be expensive.  Recognizing and accepting that dog ownership requires an investment of time and money will prepare you for the future.  You’ll need to budget for licenses and microchipping as well as preventative care.  Be sure to set aside funds for potential emergencies, and don’t skimp on our education. Believe me, you’ll appreciate the years to come of owning a well-mannered dog.

Consideration

As a dog owner, you are responsible not only for our well-being, but for the status of dogs everywhere. One irresponsible dog owner or crazy barking dog can make life difficult for dogs and their owners all over. Remember we can have an impact on people outside of our household, so you should always do your best to make sure we don’t become “that dog” that everyone in the neighborhood dreads. This means that you need to make sure we are properly socialized and trained, and always on a leash when you’re out in public with us — and don’t forget, you need to  pick up our poop.

I know children and dogs can be great companions, but they also require supervision when we play together. Some dogs may be “good with kids,” but what if he encounters a kid that is not good with dogs?   RULE OF PAW:  Very small children should never be left alone with a dog, no matter how stable his temperament.

As a Responsible Dog owner, you also need to respect local laws regarding dog ownership in your city or county. These may include registration, leash laws and nuisance barking laws. Failure to obey the laws in your area may not only result in the loss of your dogs, but may also infringe upon the rights of others in your area.

Next to children, dogs are probably the biggest investment you’ll make in terms of time, money, and emotional attachment — and the biggest for people without children. You owe it to us, and to yourselves, to take full responsibility to make our time together happy, safe, and secure for everyone involved, humans and dogs alike.

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