On the third Saturday in September, we celebrate Responsible Dog Ownership Month, which encourages current and future pet owners to review their commitments to their canine companions. As all faithful pet parents know, owning a dog is a joy and privilege, as well as a daily responsibility.
To be a responsible dog owner every day, you should prioritize some key aspects of caring for your pet. Here are some highlights:
- Veterinary Care – Making sure your pet has a reliable vet is one of the best things you can do to be a responsible dog owner. When possible, choose a vet that you trust and visit their practice consistently so they can provide continuity of care. Your vet will recommend a schedule of vaccinations and help you make the best decisions for the needs of your individual pet.
- Microchipping – Having a microchip in place is one of the best things you can do to help recover a lost pet. Making sure your contact information is accurate in the registry is crucial when it comes to having your dog returned to you when they are lost, so check to be sure your registration is up-to-date. First, you’ll need your pet’s microchip number. If you can’t find it, the veterinary office who administered the chip should have a record of it. Then you can create an account with the chip manufacturer, or update your existing account. If your pet isn’t already chipped, consider scheduling this simple procedure as soon as possible.
- Training – A responsible dog training program is much more than learning basic commands like “sit” or “stay.” Effective training will help you build a positive relationship with your dog, increase your dog’s ability to socialize with both people and other dogs, create habits that avoid problem behaviors, and establish a common language to increase trust. Plus, a well-trained dog who consistently responds to your commands will be safer when stressful or dangerous situations arise!
- Socialization – Just like people, some dogs are naturally more social than others. But no matter your dog’s personality, helping establish a solid foundation of socialization is essential. The process is typically easier for puppies, but dogs of any age can learn new socialization skills to help lessen anxiety in new situations, increase the fun factor when it’s time to play, and give them confidence in themselves.
Being a responsible dog owner every day requires a commitment of your time, money, and heart. Responsible Dog Ownership Month is just a friendly reminder about these obligations. As a devoted pet parent, you know the love and loyalty of your dog in return is worth every effort. Many of these responsibilities, such as training and socialization, can be made easier with the help of trained professionals. If you’d like to take advantage of our doggie daycare or dog boarding services here at Heritage Pet, we’d love to help!