Taking care of a dog is so much more than providing love, food and shelter. Dogs can be time-consuming, challenging and sometimes, expensive. In fact, a University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine study projects the lifetime cost of raising a dog is $23,410.
Anyone can own a dog, but not everyone knows how to take good care of a dog. Just like you may want to be a good mother or father, Greg Knows Dogs wants you to be the best dog owner you can possibly be.
September is AKC Responsible Dog Ownership month, and as the American Kennel Club states: “owning a dog is not just a privilege – it’s a responsibility.” As a dog trainer who interacts with dogs daily, I know the joys of owning a dog. Unconditional love… unlimited devotion… happiness embodied…I could go on and on.
However, there is some work that accompanies those benefits. Here are some reminders to help you live up to the commitment of being a responsible dog owner:
- Every dog needs training so he not only knows the basic commands of “sit” and “come”, but how to be obedient. If you don’t train your dog properly, you are looking at a lifetime of frustration, which is neither good for you nor your dog. Too many dogs are given up for adoption for behavioral problems that could be easily solved with some proper training.
- Your dog should go to the vet at least once a year, and more often when he is a puppy to get his vaccinations. Regular check-ups are needed to keep your dog healthy.
- Neuter or spay your dog as soon as he/she is old enough. This may prevent behavioral problems in the future and avoid the overpopulation of dogs we currently face.
- Pet I.D. Your dog should have either a microchip and/or a collar with your contact information in case he runs away or gets lost. If you are going for a walk, keep him leashed while in public at all times.
- Fresh water. Make sure your dog has fresh water at all times. Clean his food and water bowl daily to wash away any bacteria.
- Brush your dog regularly to keep his fur from being tangled or matted. Also, remember to brush his teeth and give him a bath regularly.
- A bored dog will result in a mischievous dog. Take him for daily walks to prevent boredom.
- Pick up. When going on a walk, always carry bags to scoop your dog’s poop. Consider using biodegradable bags.
Owning a dog is not an impulsive decision — it is a lifelong commitment. After all, depending on the breed and its health, your dog will be loyally by your side for the next 10 – 15 years. Greg Knows Dogs can help you have an obedient dog that fits your family’s lifestyle.