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MALAYSIA Responsible Dog Ownership Day 2008
October 19, 2008, Central Park, Bandar Utama

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Responsible Dog Ownership means being the best owner/caregiver to your dog that you can be. Much more than "food, water, and shelter", Responsible Dog Ownership is the obligation dog owners have to incorporate their dogs into the community, being a good neighbor, and providing for the needs of their dogs, however varied those needs may be.

Responsible Dog Ownership Means:  

  • Taking the time to thoroughly research your decision to have a dog.

  • Realizing that a pet is for LIFE, and dedicating yourself to the life of your dog 

  • Putting the effort into proper care of your puppy (proper veterinary care, vaccinations, de-worming, and proper feeding).  

  • Learning all you can about proper feeding, making healthy choices.  

  • Taking the time to properly socialize your dog or puppy.  

  • Investing in proper health care throughout your dog's life.  

  • Training your dog through gentle means to be a good canine citizen.  

  • Training your dog not be a nuisance, and helping him achieve that goal.  

  • Teaching your children to respect animals and not abuse them through play (this is also Responsible Parenting).  

  • Obeying the laws set for your protection and the protection of others, even when your dog "doesn't need a tag and a leash". By not obeying the laws, you are only ruining it for everyone else.  

  • Not breeding your dog because he is "so cute".  

  • Coming to terms with the fact that not everybody likes dogs, and asking yourself, what can you do to ensure that your dog is likable, even to them? Practicing the answer.  

  • Doing your part to help the pet overpopulation problem and keeping your intact dog at home and away from other intact animals, or neutering him or her to prevent future health issues.  

  • Teaching other humans how to interact with your dog.  

  • Providing your dog with a family and a home, not just food and shelter. Dogs are very social, and isolation from the family will result in an unhappy, and ultimately, unhealthy dog.  

  • Holding yourself, as the dog owner, liable for whatever damage your dog does, and taking steps to rectify it.  

  • In a world where dogs are increasingly seen as "evil" and "vicious", Responsible Dog Ownership is the only thing that will keep Man's Best Friend where he should be: at our sides.  

Things to think about:

  • Always keep your dog up-to-date on vaccinations and check-ups  

  • Feed your dog a good quality dog food

  • Be sure he always has a supply of fresh, clean water  

  • Don't overfeed your dog or give him too much "junk."  Obesity in pets is just as dangerous as it is in humans.  It's always better for your dog to be a little too thin than too fat.   If you can't feel his ribs when you run your hands over his flanks, he's too fat.

  • Keep your dog groomed and his nails clipped.  Don't bathe a dog too often as it could dry out his skin.  And you don't need to use expensive dog shampoo - just use whatever "people" shampoo you have around the house.  

  • Get a dog license and a collar tag with your name and address on it.  Consider getting your dog a tattoo or a "Microchip" - these will greatly increase your chances of his return should he run off and get lost.  

  • Do yourself and your dog a favor and enroll him in obedience classes.  Not only will you both learn valuable lessons, you will socialize your dog and meet other interesting dog-owners as well.  

  • Socialize your dog, especially a puppy.  Introduce him to all sorts of people and situations.  Just be cautious in bringing other animals around a very young puppy that has not yet had all his shots.

  • Please, please, please don't keep your dog tied or fenced outside all the time.  A dog is a social animal and you and your family are his "pack."  Besides, where is the pleasure in owning a pet you hardly ever bother with?  

  • Always, always clean up after your dog on walks or in the park. Numerous park privileges have been denied responsible pet owners because of the careless actions of others.  Don't let this be you!  

 Adoption a Dog from Animal Shelter:

The selection of available canine companions can overwhelm you! Any shelter dog can make a wonderful, lifelong companion for you and your family. The key knows what to look for:

  • Examine Yourself. Choosing the right dog generally means identifying the type of animal who matches your lifestyle and wants. If you live alone in a small, third-floor apartment, adopting a large, active retriever mix might not be the best choice but would be a better choice for a larger family. A dog's size, exercise requirements, friendliness, assertiveness and compatibility with children should figure into your decision.

  • Learn about different breeds and mixes. Dogs fall into one of two categories: purebreds or mixed breeds. If you adopt a purebred puppy, you have a good chance of knowing how big he'll get when he gets older and what general physical and behavioral characteristics he's likely to have. Mixed breeds are combinations of different breeds. When you adopt a mixed breed, you have the benefit of getting the combined traits of two or more different breeds in one animal and who's likely to be free of genetic defects common to certain purebred dogs. Mixed breeds are often the more "natural" dog - a unique companion.  

  • Visit with Shelter Animals. Keep in mind, the shelter is a stressful place for any animal. A dog's true colors won't show until he is away from this environment.  

  • Ask yourself these questions: How old is the dog? How shy or assertive is the dog? How good is the animal with children? Past information isn't always available. In general, a dog who is active likes to be touched and is not sensitive to handling and noise. This dog will probably thrive in a house full of kids. Puppies under four months, because of their fragility and special needs, often won't be adopted out to families with children less than six years old.  

  • Choose a Pal for Life. Every dog in the shelter can provide you with boundless love and companionship, and every dog certainly deserves a lifelong home. Take time to make a thoughtful choice. Select the right dog and you, and your new companion, will enjoy those years to the fullest.

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