Have you ever asked yourself if you are a responsible dog owner? This responsibility covers a wide range of areas from seeing to the dog’s well being to not allowing your dog to become a problem for neighbors. Let’s take a look at what constitutes a responsible dog owner and how we might all improve in this crucial part of owning a dog.
A responsible dog owner is the person who considers not just how owning a dog is going to affect his home life but the lives of those who live close by. A dog left to run loose through a neighborhood is a nuisance to many people. The simple fact is some people are afraid of dogs, especially large breeds and they may own cats or other pets they feel the dog will harm. Unsupervised dogs leave their poop in yards; urinate on everything from expensive shrubbery to expensive vehicle tires and this really upsets non dog lovers. Heck, it ticks me off, and I own and love dogs.
A person who really cares about their dog considers all the ramifications that come with owning a dog. First thing we all need to do is provide a safe and clean environment for our dog and then see that either we or a professional dog trainer teaches the dog obedience and socialization skills. An untrained dog is frankly a pain in the butt for you and anyone who comes in contact with the dog, so obedience training is a must.
Socializing a dog is simply teaching the dog to behave around other people and animals. With most breeds this is not difficult while there are a few breeds you would need to spend more time working on these skills.
Another responsibility is providing the best health care possible for the dog. This includes puppy shots at the correct intervals, yearly booster shots and check-ups for any health issues, ID tags on the dogs collar and/or microchips in the event he or she becomes lost, grooming the fur and keeping the nails trimmed, regular flea and tick treatments, vitamin supplements in addition to a quality dog food, plenty of walks and play time so the dog receives exercise, and weekly baths.
Owning a dog involves far more than bringing a dog home and tossing some food his way every day. The responsible dog owner understands this is a commitment of many years and does what is required so the dog is a true member of the family.
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