Responsible Dog Ownership Month

September is responsible dog ownership month. Owning a dog is a joy, privilege, and responsibility. If you have a canine companion into your life, think seriously about the commitment that being a responsible dog owner entails.

Recognize the commitment – Before deciding that a dog is right for you, make an honest assessment: are you ready for the financial, emotional, and time commitment owning a dog requires?

Set a containment policy – Make sure the yard is securely fenced or that you have a run for your dog. If that’s not possible, keep in mind that your pup will need to be on a leash outdoors.

Exercise – Take your dog for walks, play games, run in the yard, throw a ball around — anything to stimulate his mind and body.

Get your dog microchipped – Microchips are a way to permanently identify your dog, and can be invaluable in recovering a lost canine companion. Make sure your chip information is registered and up-to-date.

Prepare for a disaster – Have a disaster plan in place. Make an emergency kit with clean water, food, and first aid equipment. Find out in advance if evacuation shelters in your area allow animals.

Supervise play with children – Children and dogs can be great friends, but they need supervision when playing together, no matter how friendly your canine companion might be.

Respect your neighbors – Not everyone will love your dog as much as you do. Keep your dog on your property. Don’t force your dog’s company on a neighbor who isn’t comfortable with dogs.