Doing What’s Best for Your Dog, Day-by-Day
We all know what it takes to be a responsible pet owner, right? Food, water, shelter, plenty of love.
But wait, there’s more: Identity tags and microchipping, vaccinations and preventive care, treatment for chronic conditions, behavior training, exercise, grooming...
Taking good care of your pet is a lot like taking good care of yourself: To maintain good health and a high quality of life, you need to know the smart moves and commit to doing them every day.
Responsible Dog Ownership Day, celebrated throughout the month of September, is an opportunity to celebrate your pet and check your care routines against your veterinarian’s recommendations.
John Albers, DVM, Executive Director of the American Animal Hospital Association, which accredits veterinary clinics and hospitals, says that being a responsible pet owner begins with providing:
- Regular veterinary care, including annual wellness exams and lab tests, vaccinations, parasite screening and prevention, and dental care.
- Exercise for both your pet’s mind and body.
- Adequate nutrition, discussed with your veterinarian and formulated based on your pet’s age and activity level.
- Training, socialization, and safety, such as keeping your dog on a leash or in an enclosed area when necessary.
- Love and affection — your dog’s reward for unconditional love.
Celebrate Pet Ownership
Responsible Dog Ownership Day, now in its sixth year, is sponsored by the American Kennel Club (AKC).
Join the celebration by signing the Responsible Dog Owner Pet Promise. While you’re online, check out events and activities around the country, including obedience and agility demonstrations, low-cost microchipping clinics, breed rescue information, therapy and service dog demonstrations, presentations about dog safety for children, and giveaways.
Our dogs reward us daily with their companionship and loyalty. AKC Responsible Dog Ownership is about what we owe them in return," says Lisa Peterson, AKC spokesperson. "Our goal with both the events and the Pet Promise is to remind people about the commitment they make when they choose to get a dog."
“The most important part of responsible dog ownership is to treat your pet like you know you should treat yourself.”
Scott McCall, DVM, Animal Care Centers of Texas
This article originally appeared in PetsMatter Volume 3 Issue 4, published by the American Animal Hospital Association. Copyright © 2009 AAHA. Find out more.