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Responsible Dog Ownership


Being a responsible Dog owner is more than just feeding, watering and walking. Dogs are completely dependent on their owners for their welfare. They donít have the instincts necessary to survive on their own and some dogs, because of their body shape, are physically unable to care for themselves. We have made the dog dependent on us so me must be willing to care for them properly.
Owning a dog is a lifetime commitment. Many small dogs can live to be 15 years old. Very large breeds usually live to be seven or nine. Figure anywhere between seven and 15 years to commit to their care. Are you ready for that. Dogs are not disposable fixtures that you throw away when youíre tired of them.
Choose a dog that fits your lifestyle. If youĎre not sure what kind of dog is best for you, enlist the services of a person who can help you choose the right dog for you.
Once you choose your dog, be prepared to train and socialize him. Enroll in an obedience class and get him out in public so he can experience the world and become comfortable with it. Have your dog tested for the Canine Good Citizen test when heís trained and ready. Go to the AKC website to learn more about the Canine Good Citizen test.
Be prepared to endure the cost of spaying or neutering your new dog. There are far too many homeless animals around. Also you need to provide regular veterinary care for your pet. Plan on spending the necessary money for health, food, shelter and animal supplies. Be sure to keep them properly groomed and free of pests. Remember, dogs donít come cheap. It costs money to properly upkeep them.
Be sure to make your new dog a part of your family "pack." Donít confine him to the backyard with little or no human companionship. Remember, they are pack animals and need to be included in our lives.
If your dog does have to stay outside for long periods of time, be sure to provide water and shelter along with a good strong fence for security. And donít be upset if he digs up the entire backyard out of boredom. That sometimes happens with dogs left to their own devices.
Be sure your dog has proper identification. Tags on collars are very important, especially if the dog is lost in the neighborhood. Microchips and tattoos are also a good idea since these cannot be lost or easily taken off.
Keep your dog at home. Confine him to a fenced yard and be sure to walk him on a leash for daily exercise. When you walk your dog, be sure to pick up after him. Donít ever let your dog run loose. Besides being against the law, itís also very dangerous for both the dog and the people and other pets he might encounter.
Provide your dog with the proper diet. This is not an area to be cheap about. The quality of the food you feed your animal will directly affect his quality of life as well as length of life. Remember, cheap dog food equals lots of vet bills in the long run. Buy a quality food from a reliable pet supply store. Pet stores generally carry good quality pet food.
Make sure your dog get adequate exercise. Most dogs need at least 30 to 45 minutes of play time exercise a day. The larger the dog, the greater his need for more exercise. Play with him, donít just put him outside and expect him to do it himself. This play interaction will enhance your relationship with your dog. This exercise is over and above the walk you took above. Weíre talking heavy duty play time with lots of owner interaction. Games of catch and tug-of-war are wonderful. When playing tug-of-war, don't let the excitement of the game reach the point of aggression. Put the tug toy away after the game. You keep possession of that toy and make all the rules of the game.
Be kind and loving toward your pet and teach your children to be kind and loving also. Kindness to animals breeds kindness to humans. Mahatma Gandhi once said,"You can judge a nationís moral progress by how it treats its animals." If you care about animals, it follows that you will care more about people.
Be Responsible. Just about everything above applies to any pet you might own. Know what your pet needs to stay healthy and happy and make sure you supply it.


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