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February Is Responsible Pet Owner’s Month

Feb 8, 2012

This month reminds us of the importance of dog ownership. Dogs are among the most precious parts of our lives, and as your dog’s owner, you are responsible for their safety, health, and happiness. These responsibilities aren’t easy, and can often be overlooked. From simple tasks, such as brushing their teeth, to keeping them active and healthy, this February reminds us of what it means to have a dog as your companion.

Your responsibilities

Exercise is among the most important tasks that many dog owners seldom remember, but dogs never forget. They approach you with a favorite stuffed toy, a rogue ball found under the couch, or even their leash, but the message is always the same- I want to get active. Exercise is vital to a dog’s health, and there are many ways to keep your dog active, even if you aren’t always there to do so. Daily walks are a good start. Help your pup bond with you and develop good behavior and a relationship though proper technique (you walking your dog, not the other way around). Though part of having a dog is spending time with them, we can’t always be there to do so. This is where play dates can really make a dog’s day special. Arrange time with friends with their own pups, whom you and your dog trust, to take your dog out and about when you can’t.

Another topic is the importance of health. Veterinary checkups, dental, and oral hygiene are all important parts of maintaining your dog’s health. Regular vet checkups will ensure that your dog is healthy and fit, preventing any medical or health problems from arising unexpectedly. Your dog’s physical health can make a difference in their happiness and what they get out of life.

Oral hygiene is one of the most overlooked of dog responsibilities. Not every dog is willing to let you get in there and scrub those teeth, but it has to be done. This takes finesse, time, and technique to accomplish, but should never be disregarded. Brushing should be done at least every two weeks, and proper diet and dental treats can help in the prevention of gum disease and cavities. A pearly white smile says: I’m a happy, healthy dog!

No one enjoys the stinky part of dog responsibilities, and are usually passed on to kids or other family members. Yes- scooping up the poop. Cleaning up after your dog is extremely important, and helps to prevent problems such as worms, fleas, and other diseases that can fester in old excrement. Aside from constantly raking, scooping, and tossing out the poop, you can also provide a “green” solution by constructing your own compost container. They’re easy to build and provide a place where you can easily dispose of dog feces that is environmentally friendly.

Dogs in the streets

Something that everyone sees at some point in time is the rogue dog wandering the streets. This is most bothersome to many proud dog owners when they see that other owners constantly allow their dogs to roam, usually in an unsafe manner. Not only can dogs get hurt, but they can also endanger human life through accidents, or attacks of both human and animal nature. Allowing your dog to roam free is not part of being a responsible owner. Although there are those that would say that dogs are a natural part of the world and should be allowed to go wherever they want, that is not being responsible for your dog. In order to keep your dog safe, and ensure the safety of everything and everyone around you, you must know where your dog is at all times.

This is why it’s important to make sure that your dog’s tags are up-to-date so that others will know where your dog belongs. Luckily, with technology at our fingertips, micro-chipping your dog is easy and fairly inexpensive. This will allow you to find your dog if they’re lost or even stolen. Keep your dog safe, and always know where they are.

Don’t take candy from strangers

This brings us to the importance of who your dog meets. We’re not talking about taking candy from strangers. This time it’s about who you take your dog to see. Clinics, groomers, dog hotels, and even doggy day cares aren’t all perfect. You want to ensure that your dog’s life is full of happiness, so always research anyone your dog will be left alone with. With the advantages of the internet and the Better Business Bureau, you can quickly find out if your dog is left in the right hands.

Taking care of a dog is full of responsibilities. It’s nice having a companion, and really that’s all a dog wants as well. But, if you want to ensure a long, happy, and safe life for your canine friend, you must remember what it means to be a dog owner. Take care of your dog, and always love your best, four-legged friend.

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