However, dogs need a lot in return.
Therefore, before making the commitment to a dog, it is advisable to consider a number of things.
Thinking dog ownership through carefully, will ensure that you and your dog get the very best out of your relationship.
Before Getting a Dog Before taking the plunge and welcoming a new pet into your home, there are, of course, several things that you need to think about.
However, perhaps the most important is that dog ownership is a lifelong commitment.
Your new companion will need constant care for the rest of its life.
You will have to commit time to your pet, not to mention the financial and emotional commitments.
Remember, the initial thought of owning a dog may be exciting, but the reality is very different.
So, consider the changes an animal will bring to your life carefully before deciding that it is the pet for you.
How to be a Responsible Dog Owner If having thought about it, you are still sure that you want to, and are ready, to own a dog, then it is a good idea to think about some of the practicalities of responsible ownership.
Below you will find some hints and tips on how to be a responsible dog owner.
- Ensure that your pet has proper identification.
You may like to consider microchipping, but this is not without risks, so is down to personal preference.
However, you should make sure that your dog always wears a collar with the correct information.
This will help to reunite you with you pet should he, or she, become lost.
- If you do not intend to use your dog as a breeding animal, then it is wise to have your pet sterilized as soon as possible.
Millions of dogs are put to sleep each year, simply because there is no room for them in rescue centers and shelters.
Ensure that you're not contributing to the overpopulation.
- On the other hand, if you do choose to breed, ensure that you are following the procedures.
Ensure that you read everything you can about breeding protocols and standards.
Breeding is not something that should be taken up on a whim.
- Make sure your dog has regular veterinary checkups.
Often, dogs do not show signs of injury or illness, until the condition has become serious.
Therefore, regular checks will help to recognize potential problems early and keep your pet healthy.
- Ensure that your pet is obedience trained as soon as possible.
If you have no experience of training, you can learn by simply reading a good book on the subject.
However, you may wish to enroll in obedience classes, which will also give the opportunity to socialize with other owners.
- When taking your dog for a walk, keep your dog on a leash.
If your dog is not yet properly trained, it is advisable to keep him, or her, on a leash at all times, even when out in an open field or deserted beach.
However, when walking in a park or on a street it is advisable to keep your dog on a leash regardless of how well trained he, or she, is, not just because it keeps your dog safe, but also because many people are frightened of dogs.
- Similarly, always clean up after your dog.
It is not a pleasant job, but, if you want to own a dog, it is part of the deal.
Nobody, regardless of how they feel towards dogs, wants to see, smell or, worst of all, step in something your pet has left behind.
So, always carry the necessary equipment with you and dispose of your dog's mess correctly.
However, this means that, often, all dog owners are tarred with the same brush.
To alter this perception of irresponsible dog owners who let their dogs run wild, foul the streets and breed prolifically, it is important for each and every dog owner to do their bit.