The dog days of summer are over – just in time for Responsible Dog Ownership Days! The American Kennel Club has recognized September as a month dedicated to the good dog owner. According to the American Veterinary Association, a responsible dog owner should consider a few things before becoming a dog owner:
- Choose wisely. Make informed choices when it comes to selecting a dog. Some breeds are adaptable to several situations, but others require specific conditions. Do not take on more pets than you can care for appropriately, which includes food and water, shelter, health care and companionship. Be committed to the relationship!
- Safety first. Your dog depends on you to keep him safe and healthy. Summers in Tucson are especially tough on puppy paws and parts, so be smart when you let the dogs out. Check out these tips from Encanto Pet Clinic.
- Give it a shot. Keep up with preventative health care, such as vaccinations, parasite treatments and preventatives, and care for illness and traumatic events. Encanto Pet Clinic’s veterinarians and staff are ready to help you find a vaccination or other treatment package that best fits your needs.
- Have fun. Socializing and play is important to your dog’s well being. Do you have an “only dog?” Oh Behave Pet Training and Behavior Solutions offers puppy play groups, Good Dog Citizen classes and many other opportunities for you and your dog to learn and play with others. A Loyal Companion has a cool pool and gym with swim and fitness classes, dog sport training and therapy training.
- Clean up. Shih Tzus poo – all dogs doo-doo. And it can be a hazard to your dog’s health and the health of your family. It’s important to dispose of it all in the right way. Encanto Pet Clinic gave you the scoop here.
- Keep him safe. Make sure your dog’s space (inside and outside) is secure. Check your fence regularly for gaps or spaces, and make sure gates latch correctly. Keep him protected from wild animals, such as skunks that may carry rabies.
Practice control. Spay or neuter your dog! Reduce the overall unwanted pet population and prevent potential health problems. Encanto Pet Clinic staff will explain the spay and neuter process and explore pricing options.
- Lead well. Always keep your dog leashed when outside his home or secure yard. Keep the leash, collar or harness in good condition and replace when you see any signs of wear or fraying. Retractable (or flex) leads are not recommended and can be dangerous to use. It is always best to train your dog to walk in a heel position with a 4- to 6-foot long leash. Educate yourself about dog ordinances in your area, such as leash laws, licensing and noise.
- Identification, please. Attach dog licenses and identification tags to your dog’s collar or harness. If you can’t stand the sound of jingling metal, cover them with something like Quiet Spot Pet Tag Silencer, or a collar tag that attaches directly to the collar and has no moveable parts. The best way to protect your lost pet is by microchipping. Tucson has recently experienced a rash of lost dogs due to the storms and other factors. Talk to the staff at Encanto Pet Clinic about microchipping services.
- Goodbye plan. Do you have a plan in place if something happens to you, and you are not able to take care of your best friend? Assign (and document) a “dogparent” who will take over for you in case of emergency. Make sure you share information about your veterinarian, boarding kennel, groomer, diet, etc. so the stress is reduced as much as possible.
- Goodbye plan, Part Two. Do you know when it is time to say goodbye to your dog? Consider his quality of life and make loving decisions for him. Encanto Pet Clinic helps you through that process.