Are You A Responsible Pet Owner?

For many people a pet is an important part of the family. While owning a pet can be extremely rewarding, it is important to remember that pet ownership is also a huge responsibility. Owning a pet is a privilege. Dogs are unmatched in their devotion, loyalty and friendship to humankind and probably make the best pets but owning a dog comes with its share of Dos and Don’ts. Here’s how you could be a responsible pet owner:

Understand the commitment: Owning a pet dog is a long-term emotional and financial commitment. Make an honest assessment as to whether your home is right for any dog. Select a breed that’s suited to your home and lifestyle.

Make a Schedule: You and your family members should decide who would be responsible for food, water, walking, exercise, cleanup and grooming.

Set rules: Teach your dog what is and is not appropriate behaviour. Make sure that every member of the family enforces the house rules. Consistency is the key to having a well-behaved pet.

Clean & groom: Be meticulous about bathing, cleaning the dog, brushing his coat, cleaning teeth, clipping the nails, vaccinating him and keeping him disease and parasite-free. Provide regular veterinary care.

Socialise your dog: Expose your dog to different people and settings regularly so that he is comfortable accepting petting from friendly strangers and will be calm around other dogs.

Pick up after your pet: Always carry a plastic bag with you when you walk your dog to pick up any waste it leaves behind, and then dispose of the waste properly. Failure to clean up after your dog is disrespectful to your neighbours.

Respect your neighbours and prevent nuisance: The biggest care that you need to take is to prevent nuisance because of your pet.Understand that not everyone will love your dog. Keep your dog on your property. Don’t force your dog’s company on a neighbour who isn’t comfortable with dogs.Your neighbours are entitled to enjoy their space without your dog roaming onto their property, attacking or getting over-friendly with them. If you neighbour asks you to stop your dog from coming close to them, you must do so.

Don’t let your pet run loose. Dogs should be walked with leashes. Any outdoor off-leash access should be secure in a fenced area.

Don’t let your dog’s incessant barking annoy your neighbours. Teach your dog not to bark without real provocation. If the barking is causing problems while you’re away from home, try and get to the root cause of the problem with the help of experts. Obey all local ordinances, including licensing, leash requirements and noise control.

Make effective alternate arrangements if you are going off on a holiday or will be away from the pet for a few days.

The average lifespan of dogs is around 12 years, with some dogs living until 15 or even 20 years of age. While puppies are adorable, you will need to be prepared to provide for an adult animal too. So it’s a long-term commitment. Remember that pets are an expensive addition to the family but once in, they are important members of your family.The list above is certainly not exhaustive, but it contains some of the essential ways you can prove to be the best dog owner possible.

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