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7 Fundamentals for Being a Responsible Dog Owner

by Victor

Owning a dog can be great fun. But it also comes with intense responsibilities. After all, you’re in charge of your pup from their childhood all the way to adulthood and old age. You need to know how to be a responsible dog owner if you plan to enjoy the next years – and so you can ensure you give your dog the best life possible.

Stick to Routine Vet Care

To be a responsible dog owner, you need to stick to a routine veterinarian care schedule. If you get a new puppy, make sure they are fully vaccinated and checked by a vet at the earliest opportunity.

But even after your dog is an adult, they’ll need to go to the vet at least once per year for an annual checkup and regular vaccination shots. Routine vet care also helps you keep track of potentially brewing health issues so your pup can live a healthy, long life! 

Use the Right Tools

To be a responsible dog owner, you should also make sure you have the right tools for your new duties. You should have these tools and equipment in place before you bring your pup home.

At a bare minimum, you’ll need:

  • A quality dog leash. A dog leash is best paired with a harness. However, a dog leash itself is necessary so you can lead your dog around. You’ll use the dog leash when you take your dog on walks or outdoors and during the training process, when the dog leash is an invaluable way to nonverbally communicate with your pup
  • A good dog bowl (or two) for food. Depending on the dog’s breed, you may need to get them a maze bowl so they don’t eat too quickly
  • A bed and/or crate. Crate training your dog can be wise, as it gives them a personal space they can call their own if they ever become overstressed or overstimulated
  • Plenty of dog food and training treats, especially in your dog’s younger years

Remember, adopting a dog means doing more than just paying the adoption fee! You’ll need to spend several hundred dollars at minimum getting all the necessary supplies together.

Feed them Well

You are what you eat, and the same principle applies to your dog! To be a responsible dog owner, make sure to feed them a balanced diet with good dog food. Research major dog food brands and try to feed your pup as healthily as possible. Avoid dog food brands with a lot of unnecessary additives, salt, sugar, etc.

Get Pet Insurance

Good pet insurance will be a financial lifesaver if your dog ever gets injured or as your pup becomes older. Quality pet insurance can help to pay for some of the major veterinarian bills you’ll face over the coming years. No one wants to have to deny their dog critical medical care just because they can’t afford it.

Keep to a Grooming and Hygiene Routine

Depending on your dog’s breed, they may need a fairly intensive grooming and hygiene routine, such as combing, brushing, etc. If your dog requires this attention, make sure they get it!

A good grooming and hygiene routine will help to minimize the likelihood of health problems, plus ensure that your pup looks handsome and/or pretty for years to come.

Match Exercise Needs to Breed

Some breeds, particularly big dogs or dogs bred to hunt or drive cattle, need a lot of outdoor exercise. If you don’t have enough time to take care of such a canine, get an indoor dog that is content to lounge around all day instead.

Be sure to always match the exercise you give your dog to their breed. If, for instance, you have a huge dog that needs a lot of space, don’t adopt one of those dogs if you only have a cramped apartment.

Train Your Dog Well

Lastly, spend some time in your dog’s earliest months training them to be polite, responsive animals. At a bare minimum, your dog needs to know how to:

  • Sit
  • Stay
  • Come
  • Wait

You should also take steps to train your dog on a dog leash. Train your dog to walk properly and politely while on a leash, and you’ll enjoy your daily walks with them, plus be able to rely on your dog not to run off when they see a sudden squirrel scrambling up a nearby tree! Use healthy treats to incentivize your dog to learn these tricks readily.

There’s a lot to being a responsible dog owner. But if you keep the above fundamentals in mind, you’ll give your dog a great life – and avoid getting in any trouble with your pup! – no matter what their breed is or how old they happen to be. Good luck, and have fun with your dog!

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