Ultimate Test: Are You a Responsible Dog Owner?

Posted by Stacey Venzel
dog ownership

Owning a dog is a bigger responsibility than many think. Are you prepared?

Adding a furry family member into the home requires much more preparation than many hopeful pet owners anticipate. A lot of dogs are brought into households on a whim but the puppy parents aren't ready to be parents yet. And unlike bringing a baby into the home, there aren't nine months to prepare.

September is Responsible Dog Ownership Month, so we thought we'd put together some tips for being an ideal canine guardian--without crossing the line into helicopter parent.

 1. Exercise

Dogs need more exercise than just hanging out in the backyard. Many owners install a doggy door and quit taking their pooch for walks, but the dog ends up not getting enough exercise.

 2. Socialization

Have puppy playdates and take your dog to the dog park. Canines are social pack animals after all!

dog ownership

 3. Daytime care

Don't leave your dog at home in a kennel all day. If you can't take your dog to work or can't have someone in the house with the pup during work hours, consider doggy day care, stopping home on lunch breaks, or even working from home.

 4. Enrichment

Change things up in your pet's life with new toys and treats, new friends, and games. Prevent your pet from getting bored!

 5. Nutrition

Research the best diet for your pet. Consult a veterinarian and avoid buying whatever kibble is cheapest. This will save your wallet in the long run by preventing a myriad of illnesses that arise in canines due to poor nutrition.

dog ownership

 6. Vaccinations

Follow the vaccination requirements in your country or state. If you are concerned about over-vaccination, voice your concerns to the veterinarian, but don't write off getting vaccines all together.

 7. Training

Proper training saves owners (and their visitors!) a lot of headaches. It also keeps your dog out of trouble. The sooner you start, the better. And yes, you really can teach an old dog new tricks!

 8. Identification

Register your dog with tags and a microchip. Dogs run loose all the time, even those you least expect to get lost or run away. Be prepared for the unexpected to ensure a long and happy life with you and your furry family member.

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Are you a responsible dog owner? Are you ready to be one? Keep in mind this list is far from complete!

Welcoming a dog into your life can be a lot of work, but the payoff is far greater than the effort put into caring for a canine. And, owning a dog teaches you a lot about responsibility!

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Ultimate Test: Are You a Responsible Dog Owner?