Responsible Dog Ownership Tips
All dogs and puppies need a responsible pet owner. Responsible dog ownership goes beyond meeting your dog’s primary needs, such as fresh water, high quality food and climate-controlled shelter. Responsible dog owners need to meet their dogs’ emotional needs and keep their dogs safe and healthy too.
1. Meet Your Dog’s Emotional Needs
Dogs need more than water, food and shelter. They also need comfort, mental enrichment, kindness and compassion. It’s so important to connect with your dog daily. You can do this by taking a walk around the block, playing fetch in the yard, petting or simply talking to your dog.
When your dog is left home alone, it’s important to provide plenty of mental enrichment. Fill interactive dog toys with food, hide treats behind furniture or scatter your dog’s kibble on the floor. These simple steps will keep your dog mentally fulfilled even while you’re away.
2. Prioritize Regular Veterinary Care
Dogs are stoic, meaning it’s difficult to immediately notice that something is physically or mentally wrong with them. Even if your dog is rarely sick, you should bring your dog in for annual veterinary check-ups. During these check-ups, your veterinarian will carefully examine your dog, perform blood work and make recommendations if needed. When in doubt, have your vet check it out.
3. Keep Your Dog Leashed
Leashes are your dog’s safety lines. Dogs don’t understand that moving cars are deadly or wandering off is unsafe. Leashes keep our dogs safely with us. They prevent dogs from running off and unintentionally scaring or hurting other dogs, people or livestock.
4. Pick Up After Your Dog
No one likes stepping in dog poop. 🙂 Plus, dog poop spreads disease and intestinal parasites as well as attracts flies. Please pick up after your dog and properly dispose of your dog’s fecal matter. This responsible dog ownership tip even applies when you’re in your own backyard.
5. Train Your Dog
Just like human children, puppies and dogs need to learn polite manners. Enroll your puppy or dog into a group dog training class with a positive reinforcement dog trainer. Your puppy or dog will learn how to behave politely around other dogs and people. Plus, attending weekly group training classes will certainly meet your dog’s mental and emotional needs too. 🙂
6. Groom Your Dog
Regular dog grooming keeps your dog’s skin and coat healthy, and it provides a positive bonding opportunity between you and your dog. Remember, dogs are stoic. Responsible dog owners are more likely to notice lumps, bumps, swelling or painful areas during a grooming session. Brush your dog weekly and bathe your dog as needed. That could be weekly or monthly, depending on your dog’s coat needs.
7. Microchip Your Dog
Take 10 minutes and permanently ensure your dog can be safely returned to you if she should get lost. Collars with ID tags are great, but they can fall off or someone can take them off. It takes 5 minutes to microchip your dog and another 5 minutes to register the microchip with your contact information. Do it. It’s worth it.