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Being a Responsible Dog Owner

Today is Responsible Dog Ownership Day, which I believe was started by the American Kennel Club.

If you live in or near New York City or Raleigh, North Carolina you might already be aware of the AKC events schedule there today. But those won’t be the only ones. According to the AKC website, last year over 350 clubs and organizations held Responsible Dog Ownership Day events. The AKC has a link on their website where you can select your state to find events near you.

The purpose is to educate pet parents on all manner of thing with events like:

• microchipping to prevent a lost pet

first aid and other health related education for pet owners, including the importance of vaccinations and spaying/neutering

• learning about breeds to find the right one to match your lifestyle and personality

safety around dogs, especially in regard to teaching kids how to be safe and cautious around strange and/or new pets

• demonstrations by search-and-rescue, therapy, and agility dogs

Canine Good Citizens tests

But here’s some other things that I think are important to keep in mind when it comes to responsible dog ownership:

• Disciplining and training your dog. (Just as with human kids, it’s important to set boundaries. Dogs have to know the difference between right and wrong, what’s acceptable and what’s not. The only way to do that is with training. It creates a more pleasant relationship for everyone!)

• If you walk your dog, making sure to scoop their poop. (Not only is it polite to do so if your pup poop’s on a neighbors lawn, it’s also a very sanitary course of action for the environment and community as a whole.)

• Spending time with your dog. (I don’t personally understand having an outside-only dog, but some people do. Fine. But there’s more to taking care of a dog than making sure it has fresh food and water. Dogs are social creatures and enjoy interaction. Make sure to build that into your routine –whether you’re dog’s an innie or an outie.)