in the Park, Paws for a Cause Day
May 8, 2005
What is Responsible Dog Ownership
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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.
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.
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
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,
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.
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
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
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
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 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
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!
a Dog from Animal Shelter:
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
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
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.
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.
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.
a Pal for
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