Owning a pet is a privilege and it should result in a beneficial relationship. Pets should not be treated as accessories that once you obtain them from a pound or local pet store you can just throw them aside and forget about them.
Our pets are our companions that need love, care, attention, and devotion.
Respect Your Pet
It may be surprising to dog owners, but this should be the first thing on the list if you want to be a responsible dog owner. Every dog is different and if you have an understanding of your dog, respect develops along the way.
When you respect your pet, you would care enough to know how to best take care of them and address their needs. Respecting them means giving them enough time to adjust to living with you. Also with respect, you can set reasonable expectations with them.
Provide Them Food, Shelter, and Affection
Being a responsible dog owner means providing them with their basic needs. That means food, water, shelter, and social interaction.
Your dog's digestion is at its healthiest when you give them a consistent diet. Get recommendations from your vet on what they should or should not eat. Keep in mind to only feed them with their recommended daily diet as overfeeding can lead to obesity which increases the risk for arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease.
Make sure they have always access to water as hydration is critical for nutrition, digestion, and joint health.
Keep only several pets for which you can provide appropriate food, shelter, and companionship.
Ensure They Have Proper Identification
Your pet may inevitably get lost at some point when taking care of them. To make sure your pet finds its way back home, have your pet wear a collar with their name and contact details. It is also recommended to have your pet microchipped.
A dog collars with your details can help people who find your pet to know how and where to contact you. The microchip is another piece of valuable information if you lost your pet. It can also help reunite with your pet in case of pet theft or kidnapping because it contains information to prove that you are the rightful pet parent.
Make Sure Your Pet is Spayed or Neutered
Getting your pet spayed or neutered is one of the most important things a responsible pet owner can do especially if you're not planning on adding another pet to the family.
You might think that spaying or neutering is meddling with what nature intends animals to be, but think of how many people abandon puppies because they can't take care of them. A huge percentage of pets in shelters and those who were rescued are because of unregulated breeding. Millions of dogs are put to sleep every year because shelters cannot hold them anymore.
Do Not Abandon Your Pet
Getting a pet is a lifetime commitment. As a responsible pet owner, you need to understand that you should only get a pet if you fully commit to them being with them for as long as you or the animal is alive. We know that caring for a pet is expensive, costs your time, and you need to be invested in them emotionally, but in the end, the rewards are priceless.