How to Be a Responsible Dog Owner

Do you think you are a responsible dog owner? Are you a first time dog owner? Well you're in the right place. These are all the things you should do to be a responsible dog owner and keep your dog happy, healthy, and safe.


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    Neuter or spay your dog as soon as it is old enough. Do this both to prevent unwanted litters adding to the numbers in shelters, but also to prevent adolescent behaviour problems.
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    Keep your dog leashed in public at all times. This will prevent your dog running away, or jumping on other dogs or people.
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    Provide your dog with healthy food and clean water. Do not let your dog "graze," but always keep fresh water available. If you go on long trips, take water for your dog to drink when you stop.
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    Clean your dog's water and food bowls daily.. This is important if you want your dog to stay healthy.
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    Make regular stops if you take your dog on a long road trip, so that he can get out for some exercise and have a drink of water. Never leave your dog unattended in the car!
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    Check that your backyard is secure when your dog is outside. Check for holes in the fences or gates, especially if you have a small dog. If your dog has puppies, you might want to put wire over gates with gaps in them as very small dogs may be able to fit through the bars. Also, if you have a young dog, make sure he can not access any electrical wires or cords.
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    Take your dog to the vet at least once a year. Regular check-ups are needed to ensure your dog is healthy and so that it can be treated for any problems.
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    Brush your dog regularly to keep its fur from getting tangled and matted. How often will depend on the type of coat your dog has.
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    Obedience train your dog to ensure a well-mannered family member. Training will strengthen the bond with your dog, prevent or correct unwanted behaviours, and create a well-balanced, happy pet. Check out your local directory for obedience schools in your area.
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    Provide chew toys to keep his teeth healthy and to relieve boredom.
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    Bathe your dog when necessary. You usually don't need to bathe your dog more often than once a month, otherwise its skin will become dry and itchy.
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    Take your dog for a walk at least twice a day to physically and mentally exercise them. A tired dog is an obedient dog. Without proper exercise, your dog will become bored and many behaviour problems may arise (chewing, excessive barking, jumping and hyper-activity).
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    Pick up after your dog. Dispose of your dog's waste in a proper manner. Consider using biodegradable bags.


  • Know your dog's fears and dislikes and do your best to prevent the fear from developing into aggression.
  • Responsible owners proactively protect their dogs and prevent them from being placed in situations where the dog needs to protect itself.
  • Remember to clip your dog's nails - don't rely on pavement to keep them short.
  • If you can't physically keep your dog in line of sight with children, then separate them.
  • Professional, certified, trainers have hundreds of hours invested in education and observation and can offer correct steps to correct issues.
  • Many of these tips vary depending on your dog breed smaller dogs are usually dogs that need more care and most of the bigger dogs need the basic dog doctor visits baths walks etc.
  • Responsible dog owners are careful about holes dug in public areas, such as near a sidewalk where pedestrians can fall and get hurt.
  • Harnesses are better than collars when taking your dog on a walk because if your dog is on a collar and it pulls on the leash, it might begin to choke him.


  • Keep garbage cans either out of reach (in a low cabinet or in a closed pantry) or impossible to get into (a can with a closed lid). Dogs ingesting garbage is much more serious than just a mess to clean up.
  • Pretty Christmas Poinsettias are poisonous to dogs. Holly bushes are poisonous to dogs and cats, and cats are oddly attracted to them. Some other common household items that are poisonous to dogs are raisins, grapes, mushrooms, onions, macadamia nuts, chocolate (small amounts of milk chocolate is usually ok in larger dogs, but it is the dark, rich chocolate that can KILL any dog, especially baking chocolate), and caffeine.
  • Prescription drugs can kill your dog. Aspirin may be given to a dog if your vet tells you it is all right and tells you the proper dosage. But Tylenol is poison. Also, some vets will recommend giving your dog Benadryl for a minor allergic reaction, but be very careful about this. Some Benadryl has Sudafed (pseudoephedrine) which is very toxic to dogs and requires immediate veterinary attention if ingested.
  • Always keep your dog hydrated and when it gets really warm, provide shade for your dog as heat can frustrate dogs.
  • Some plants can be toxic/poisonous to dogs so keep all house plants out of reach.
  • Never, ever leave your dog in the car with or without the windows down. It is very dangerous.

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Categories: Dog Obedience