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Daily Acts of Responsible Dog Ownership

By Bear (Canine Guest Blogger)

I am one excited doggie! It is September and for the American Kennel Club (AKC) this is Responsible Dog Ownership Month. My mommy is a responsible dog owner but even she can pick up some tips from the AKC Facebook page. They are posting what they call “Acts of RDO” each day. Here’s one of them: “I recognize that my dog’s welfare is totally dependent on me and I will never overlook my responsibilities for this living being.”  I think that one sentence sums up being a responsible dog owner pretty well.

There’s also a really cool Responsible Dog Ownership petition that all of you loving dog moms and dads should check out and sign! What do you think you need to do to be a responsible dog owner? The basics such as food, water, vet care and a warm place to sleep are simple, but there’s a lot more to caring for one of us than just those things.

The first thing you must know about getting a dog is that it’s not a short term thing. It takes being committed to raising and caring for us throughout our lives. It’s not always convenient to have a dog. There are places we can’t go, and there are things that we need, so not only are you committing to having a companion for several years, you are also committing to the financial needs and the care of your dog for many years as well. I know my mommy sometimes wishes she could go out for the day without worrying about me being stuck at home. Sometimes she does have to leave me for the day and she makes sure that she leaves the television on for me, and that I have plenty of CANIDAE dog food and water. My mommy even puts paper down in the basement for me in case I have to potty before she gets home. All the little things she does let me know how much she loves me and cares for me.

Sure, we fit into your family and provide entertainment and companionship – but we need a lot more than just a pat on the head. We are completely dependent on our families to meet all of our needs. Whether we need food or medical attention or whether it is a small cost or a large expense, as a responsible dog owner that is part of having a dog. Once, I slipped while going down the steps and tore one of my claws. Mommy noticed me limping and made me let her look at my foot. She didn’t want to hurt me so she took me to the vet where they were able to clip the nail off and clean the torn area. Little things like that cost money and can happen when you least expect it. So before you get a dog make sure you’re prepared for the expenses and the hassle it can sometimes be.

Even things like making sure we are trained to sit, stay and come when you call us are safety measures you should take to make sure that we are protected from danger. If we don’t know how to stay when you tell us to, we may run into the street and get hurt. Simple dog training is very important to keep us safe and happy.

Grooming is also an area that dog owners may overlook unless they have certain specific breeds. It’s important to realize that all dogs need some grooming – regular baths, clipping our nails and making sure that our ears are cleaned are just a few of the basic grooming tasks that all responsible dog owners should take care of.

There are some other aspects of raising a dog that are important too. No matter how much you dislike the task, you do need to pick up and dispose of our little waste piles. I assure you, if we could figure out that "flushy" thing we would use it for you! Being a responsible dog owner means making sure that your dog and you are good citizens. The AKC even has a test for good doggie citizens, which Julia Williams wrote about.

Be sure to check out the AKC Facebook page so you can read their Daily Acts of Responsible Dog Ownership all month long!

Photo by Matt Baume

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