What You Need to Know About Responsible Dog Ownership

Responsible dog ownership means more than adoring your dog. Dog ownership is a serious commitment that consists of vital duties. Before you decide to get a dog, you must pledge to be responsible. In addition to meeting your dog's basic needs, here are some of the most important rules of conscientious dog ownership.

  • 01 of 08
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    When you get a dog, it is not like getting a car loan. When your dog misbehaves, you can’t just trade him in. If he gets sick, it is your job to help him get well. If circumstances in your home environment change, you must consider the toll it will take on your dog and make every effort to help him along.

  • 02 of 08
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    Bonding is not something you can do once and assume it's finished. The bond with your dog is built during the first few weeks to months of ownership, but maintaining the bond is a lifelong process. Remember that while you are at work, out with friends, or running errands, your dog is usually just waiting for you to come home.

  • 03 of 08

    Provide Proper Identification

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    Your dog should wear a collar at all times with current identification. Consider microchipping your dog for an added layer of protection. Proper identification can help you become reunited with your dog if lost rather than letting your dog become one more homeless pet in an overcrowded shelter.

  • 04 of 08
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    Millions of pets are euthanized each year because of pet overpopulation. If you do not have your dog spayed or neutered you may be contributing to this problem. If your dog is suitable for breeding, be a responsible breeder. Mixed-breed dogs, "purebred" dogs with unknown genetic histories, and dogs with health problems should not be allowed to breed. You can help save lives - please sterilize your pets!

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  • 05 of 08
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    If you choose to breed your dog, be sure to follow the proper protocols. Your dog should be a quality, healthy purebred with no congenital or hereditary problems. Educate yourself about breeding standards, become involved with a network of responsible breeders and find a veterinarian who can be involved along the way. Reputable breeders have years of experience and education. Breeding dogs is not just a hobby, it's a way of life.

  • 06 of 08
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    Always provide plenty of fresh water and an appropriate amount of quality food for your dog. A place of shelter and comfort is also important for your dog's physical and mental wellness, and exercise is a must. Because of their survival instincts, dogs are not as likely to show pain or illness as humans. Regular visits to your veterinarian are essential, as they can help you prevent serious health problems and detect minor issues before they become severe.

  • 07 of 08
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    Canine etiquette not only benefits you and your dog; it also benefits others. A well-behaved and properly socialized dog is less likely to upset people and pets in public places and will be more welcome at gatherings. If your dog's misbehavior results in any sort of accident, injury or similar incident, you must take full responsibility for that behavior.

  • 08 of 08
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    This may seem like common sense to some of us, but there are still dog owners out there who do not "get" it. Please help give dog owners a good name by following these rules:

    1. Keep your dog on a leash or in a fenced-in yard when outdoors. Even if you live where it is legal to allow your dog off-leash, you should supervise him at all times. Do not let him wander the neighborhood or get out of your sight.
    2. Do not leave a barking dog outdoors. Continuous barking is not only unfair to your dog,...MORE it is rude and annoying to neighbors.
    3. Pick up after your dog. No one wants to step in or smell that "gift" your dog left behind. Please pick it up right away and dispose of it properly. For convenience, try a bag dispenser, like the N2N Poop Patrol Bags.