Responsible dog ownership
With all the companionship and love that our dogs give so freely, it’s hard to imagine some owners simply not taking responsibility for their dogs. But it’s true. Millions of dogs, healthy dogs, are euthanized each year. Whether through negligence or ignorance of the owner, millions of healthy dogs will suffer the same fate this year. So what should a responsible dog owner do? The best thing you can do, as a dog owner, is to ensure that your dog does not become a statistic, and you do this through responsible pet ownership.
Welcoming a new dog into your home means taking on additional long-term responsibilities. Many new dog owners find something cute or romantic about bringing that puppy home through the window until they realize that there is minimal work involved in caring for that cute, adorable little face, and a price to pay for those. wet, drooling kisses. You wouldn’t expect to return a baby. It is no less bad to return a dog when the novelty wears off, and it should be a crime to leave a dog alone somewhere. In many ways, dogs are just as vulnerable as newborn babies, but dogs depend on their owners for their entire lives.
Listed below are the basic steps to owning a dog responsibly, and many of them are just common sense usage rules.
1. Selecting your dog: Head to a local animal shelter or rescue operation to select a puppy or dog. Remember that older dogs need loving owners too. Refusing to buy a puppy or dog that started life in a puppy mill.
2. Test your dog: Contact a veterinarian and ask him to perform the usual series of tests on your new companion.
3. Spay or Neuter Your Dog – Responsible pet owners always spay and neuter their dogs and cats. There are far more dogs waiting to be adopted than there are owners who adopt them.
4. Provide Medical Attention: In addition to the annual physical exam and vaccinations, protect your dog from heartworms, ticks, and fleas. Talk to your vet about the many options available today. Contact your vet at the first sign that something is wrong with your dog.
5. Provide adequate food and water: Provide food that is appropriate for the age, size and condition of your dog.
6. Walk Your Dog – Your dog will let you know when he needs to be taken for a walk.
7. Provide Exercise and Recreation – Provide ample space, dog toys, and opportunities for your pet to exercise. If you haven’t thrown a Frisbee in twenty years, you might be surprised at how much fun it is to try to outwit your dog – unlikely!
8. Protect your dog from abuse: Cruelty to animals is a serious matter and, in some states, is a serious crime. Even the FBI recognized that cruelty to animals is a known marker (future indicator) of violence against humans. If someone in your home intentionally abuses your dog, seek help immediately. You could thwart the next school shooting.
9. Discourage aggressive behavior – You will know the difference between friendly play and aggressive behavior. Contact your vet at the first sign of aggressive behavior to discuss your options.
10. Facing Serious Illnesses and Geriatric Dogs – Geriatric dogs are prone to many of the same illnesses that affect geriatric humans. You’ll want to do everything in your power to keep your dog comfortable in the end, but at some point, it may be necessary to put an end to the suffering. If you’ve been a responsible dog owner throughout the dog’s life, you’ll want to end that life with the same responsibility that you cared for it.