How to be a Responsible Dog Owner

Photo: Eric Ward

Although dogs are great companions, it is important to remember that owning a dog is a huge commitment and responsibility. Since September is Responsible Dog Ownership Month, Braxton’s would like to share the AKC’s list that every good dog owner should do for his or her canine family members.

According to Hilarie Erb of the AKC, the following are the top ten tips for all responsible dog owners.

  1. No matter how adorable and smart your dogs are, remember that they are still dogs and are completely dependent on you for for their physical and mental well-being.
  2. Don’t allow your dogs to adversely affect others. Nuisance barking should be controlled through good management and by providing appropriate outlets. Do not allow your dogs to run loose—for their safety and that of other people and dogs.
  3. Always pick up after your dogs! Dog waste, in public areas, is unpleasant and unsanitary.
  4. Provide adequate exercise. Take your dogs for walks and play with them, even if you are tired and just want to crash on the couch. After you give them exercise, you’ll be able to snuggle up with them in a comfy spot.
  5. Your dogs should have proper identification, such as a microchip, collar with contact information, and/or tattoo). Keep contact information current.
  6. Your dogs don’t need to be trained to professional standards, but providing basic training will make them more pleasant to have around. A well-behaved dog is a good ambassador. Braxton’s has a list of local trainers.
  7. Have the whole family read the AKC Responsible Dog Owner Pet Promise.
  8. Get involved in dog sports! There are many AKC companion events in which all dogs are eligible to compete. To find the right one for you and your canine friends, click here.
  9. Keep your dogs in good health. Give them good food and don’t let them become overweight. If you aren’t sure whether your dogs need to lose weight, here’s how to tell.
  10. Remember why you got a dog, especially at the times your pet seems inconvenient. Dogs don’t do things out of revenge or anger; they are just being dogs. But it’s because they are dogs that we find them to be so wonderful.

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