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What Does it Take to be a Responsible Dog Owner?

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Each September, the American Kennel Club celebrates Responsible Dog Ownership. By doing this, the AKC hopes to bring awareness to what it takes to responsibly own and raise a dog. If you’re taking the time to read this post, odds are likely that you already take your responsibility as a pet owner seriously. However, it never hurts to have a refresher for veteran pet parents, and a quick course for those who’ve just brought home their first pet.

Caring for Puppies
Bringing home those little balls of fur is one of the greatest joys. Before you reach for that cuteness, make certain you’ve researched the breed you’re bringing home and be aware of behaviors and potential health issues common to the breed. Once you’ve decided what kind of dog is best for your household, get stocked up on the necessities and puppy-proof your home. Next, be certain to have a veterinarian picked out and their initial appointment set for their vaccinations.

Adopting from a Shelter
Adopting a shelter pet is one of the most rewarding adventures. Not only are you bringing home a new best friend, you are potentially saving a life. Keep in mind, though, that some shelter pets have pasts that may impact how they react to new people and new situations. Always do your research on a pet to know their history and be prepared to help them through any initial issues. Having the right chew toys and the best kibble isn’t enough if they’ve had a traumatic past. Make certain you’re up to the task of caring for your new dog before you bring them home.

Regular Vet Visits
No matter the breed, all dogs need to have regular veterinarian check-ups. Not only do you need to get them their routine vaccinations (some states mandate this!), but these visits also help to catch health issues before they become bigger problems. As a pet parent, it’s your responsibility to look after the health and well-being of your furry friend, and visiting the vet is one of the best ways to ensure this.

Being a responsible dog owner isn’t difficult, but it does take effort and dedication. Learn about your dog and what it takes to keep them happy and healthy, and you’ll have a canine best friend for life.

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Bonnie Ruszczyk

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