Dogs bring us so much love and enjoyment that we owe them a lifetime of care and commitment to their health and well-being. Of course this includes playtime and treats, but don’t forget about microchipping, vet visits, training and poop-scooping.
In honor of AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Days, here are eight ways to ensure that you and your dog lead a happy life together:
— Take your dog for a walk, throw a ball around or go for a run. Exercise and mental stimulation promotes good health and prevents destructive behaviors.
— Take care of your dog inside AND out with regular grooming, quality food and vet appointments. Keep all vaccinations current.
— Expose your dog to new people, places and other dogs by taking him to the park, to the pet store, or on a trip through town. Socialization will help your dog lead a happy, well-adjusted life.
— Keep your neighbors happy by scooping poop on walks and respecting leash laws.
— Take your dog through the Canine Good Citizen test to show that he or she is a well-mannered member of the community. “Sit,” “stay” and “come” are important and potentially life-saving commands.
— Don’t tie your dog outside a store or leave him in your car. Pet theft is on the rise nationwide, and dogs can succumb to heat stress in a matter of minutes. Leave your dog at home if you need to run errands.
— Keep your dog safe in a car by using a crate or by attaching him to a seat belt with a harness.
— Show that you’re dedicated to responsible dog ownership by signing the AKC Responsible Dog Owner Pet Promise at www.akc.org/rdod.
Responsible dog owners can find an AKC Responsible Dog Owner Day event to attend in their area at www.akc.org/rdod.
First Published August 17, 2014 8:00 PM