All dog owners and dog sitters know that responsible dog ownership goes beyond simply providing a pooch with food, water and shelter. Do we keep our dogs in control any time we are in public? Do we keep bigger and perhaps prone-to-be aggressive dogs on leash even though we might consider them friendly and harmless? Do we scoop up after our pet?
Here are the most important aspects of responsible dog ownership:
- Choose the right breed for your everyday life. There are calm breeds that you can cuddle with or active breeds that you can take for an intensive run. There are breeds that love to be around children, and those that are more skittish around kids. Some breeds may not be allowed in certain dog boarding facilities, which is an important consideration if you travel often. While you may still be able to find a dog sitter, boarding could become complicated.
- Get minimum healthcare for your dog. Dog owners need to ensure routine vet care and should know where to seek medical attention should a dog become ill or injured.
- Prioritize training your dog. Socializing, verbal command response, and general obedience are all vital for good dog citizenship at home and away.
As a dog owner or a dog sitter, take care of the basics—and you’ll have a happy, healthy dog on your hands, and in your family’s life.