September is National Responsible Dog Owner Month! Do you know what it takes to be a responsible dog owner?

dog pantingDogs are unmatched in their loyalty, devotion, and friendship to their human companions. Being a responsible dog owner requires long-term emotional and financial commitment. You need to think seriously about the commitment that dog ownership entails before deciding to bring a dog into your home. Owning a dog is not just as easy as giving them their minimum needs of shelter and food. They need love, exercise, a healthy diet, and routine veterinary care.

Here are a few things to consider before bringing a new dog into your life:

Rescue, or purchase from a breeder?

The first consideration is typically an easy one to determine, but can also be difficult. Rescuing or purchasing from a breeder both have advantages and disadvantages and you will need to do extensive research prior to adoption from either.

What are you looking for in a new companion?

What qualities do you want in your new companion - a small lap dog? A large active dog? A kid-friendly companion? These are just a few of the questions you need to determine the answer to before adopting a new friend.

What is your lifestyle like?

This is the biggest reason for re-homing a pet once an adoption occurs: “I adopted this new puppy, but I don’t have time to play and care for him.” Think of your lifestyle before adopting. Are you only home short periods of time? Do you have the time to put into the care of a pet (long walks, playtime, grooming etc.)?

Here are some tips to be a responsible dog owner:

  • Avoid impulse decisions when selecting a new pet! Yes, the boxer puppy maybe adorable, but he/she may not be the right fit for your personal home.
  • Make sure the pet suits your home and lifestyle! If you live in a small one-bedroom apartment with no yard, a 150 pound Great Dane may not be the best fit.
  • Be committed. Dogs are for the life of the dog! You are not just a dog owner occasionally on holidays, or after work - you are a dog owner always. If you cannot make the lifelong commitment to care for your new companion, re-think your decision.

Have you recently adopted a dog and want to get started on some routine and preventative veterinary care? Or have questions? Give our office a call at (717) 957-3991!