What Makes a Responsible Dog Owner?
Each year, countless dogs are submitted to shelters and put down because owners were not ready to make the full commitment that comes along with owning a dog. These irresponsible owners were not prepared to do the research, make the changes, and commit the time needed to create a lasting bond with a dog. Responsible dog owners make friends for life and ensure that their pets have a happy, long life. Below we discuss what makes a responsible puppy owner in more detail.
Research and Commitment
The first thing that a responsible dog owner will do is conduct extensive research. A new puppy is a massive commitment and should not be taken lightly. Responsible dog owners will recognise the commitment involved with owning a puppy and evaluate their lifestyle. Will I be able to provide for this puppy? Will I be able to give it enough time and attention? Will I be able to accommodate it in my home, even after it grows into a full-size dog? Am I in it for the long haul?
The next step is to choose a breed and find a responsible breeder. Information about different breeds is easy to come by. The American Kennel Club and RSPCA are great starting points as they offer broad information about a wide range of breeds. When choosing a breed, one should consider size, maintenance, exercise and entertainment needs, and suitability for families.
Once you have chosen your breed, and carefully considered if a puppy is right for you, it’s time to act. Begin contacting breeders. Listen to the breeder’s advice when it comes to choosing a dog from the litter. They will have experience matching puppies to family and home environments.
A responsible dog owner will always ask questions of the breeder. By choosing an ethical breeder, you are more likely to have success with your puppy. Likewise, a responsible puppy owner will expect to be asked questions. This will indicate that the breeder truly cares about the wellbeing of their puppies.
When buying a puppy, it’s a good idea to skip the holiday period. A new puppy needs your full attention and it will be difficult to provide this during the rush of the holiday period.
Remember to get everything in writing: fees, desexing agreements, health guarantees, restrictions on breeding, living arrangements and terms of ownership. This way you protect you from any unethical changes to the deal.
Before bringing a puppy home, it’s vital that you are prepared to meet all of his/her needs. We’ve provided a quick checklist of the key things to prepare before you pick up your puppy.
What to Buy
- Toys (Rope Toys, Chew Toys, and Puzzle Toys)
- Name Tag (with your phone number)
- Leash and Harness
- Food and Water Bowls
- Shampoo and Brush
- Flea, Tick, and Worming treatments
- Carrier for the car trip home
What to Prepare
- Create a warm, comfortable place to sleep (consider using the Crate Method)
- Develop a walking, grooming, feeding, and exercising schedule
- Dog proof your house
- Select a veterinarian
When you bring your new puppy home for the first time there will be a lot of excitement and youll want to spend as much time together as possible. For this reason, it’s a great idea to be prepared well in advance of time. By having the above list checked off before your puppy comes home, you minimise any potential risks and encourage a smooth transition into your puppy’s new home.
It’s likely that your dog will feel homesick and frightened on entering your home for the first time. Massive changes in its environment will leave your puppy nervous and stressed. Allow your puppy to slowly explore your home and family at its own pace. Try not to overwhelm your puppy in the initial stages. For more tips on introducing your new puppy to your home, click here.
A responsible puppy owner knows that they must always provide what is best for their pet. They know that this means providing a healthy diet, regular veterinarian check-ups, constant exercise and entertainment, and always being on top of canine health and safety.
To Keep Your Dog Healthy
A Responsible owner will be on top of their puppy’s health. They will provide their puppy with a balance quality diet based on their dog’s size, breed, and activity level and constantly exercise their dog with walks and games. They will schedule regular vet check-ups to ensure tip-top health and a great start to life.
Responsible owners will, along with their veterinarians’ recommendations, treat their puppy for fleas, ticks, worms, and other diseases. Most importantly, they will vaccinate their puppy from a young age to ensure cover from preventable diseases.
To keep their puppies in their best shape, responsible owners will groom their dog regularly. Giving them baths, trimming their nails, cleaning teeth, and checking ears. A responsible puppy owner knows that being healthy on the outside is just as important as being healthy on the inside.
Most importantly, a responsible puppy owner is in tune with their pet’s routines. This way, they know when something is wrong, and can act accordingly.
To Keep Your Dog Safe
Accidents happen to the best of us, but a responsible puppy owner is prepared for the worst. ID name tags with your name and phone number allow your dog to be reconnected with you if they get lost. More importantly, microchips permanently identify your puppy with you in a national database. A responsible dog owner also knows that transporting a dog in a car can be dangerous work and always uses a carrier, crate, or harness.
By following a few simple steps, responsible dog owners can ensure that their pet lives a long and happy life. Compared to the cost of a sick or injured puppy, these simple steps are easily manageable. Check out our more in-depth discussions on canine health here.
Perhaps one of the most important commitments of all, a responsible dog owner gives time to their dog. They commit time each day to playing with their dog and walking him or her. A responsible puppy owner knows that by investing time into their pet, they will yield the greatest reward. By establishing a strong, friendly relationship with your dog you will enjoy their company more than otherwise.
A responsible puppy owner takes the time to train their puppy to avoid negative habits and encourage positive habits. They do this to form a good bond with their pet and to make discipline easier. By committing time to their puppy, responsible owners creating lasting friendships.