Saturday, September 18th is National Responsible Dog Ownership Day! But what really constitutes a responsible owner? Feeding a good food? Regular vet visits? Lots and lots of toys?? I’d say it’s all these and much more! Dog-a-holics wants to make sure you’re doing your best to provide your pooch with a comfortable, fulfilling and healthy lifestyle so they’ve asked me to put together a top 10 responsible dog owner list.
1. Feed a Good Diet
Find a food that is free of by-products and a food that has a meat source as the FIRST ingredient. Look for foods that don’t include Corn, Wheat or Soy as these are unnecessary fillers your dog’s body can become allergic to or have trouble digesting. Stick with whole ground grains instead, or even go grain-free! Dog-a-holics recommends and carries Fromm, Nature’s Variety Prairie, and Orijen and several great canned food choices too!
2. Go to the Veterinarian
Take your dog in for annual check-ups and vaccinations. Your vet is a great resource for all your pet-related questions!
3. Provide Chew Toys
Wouldn’t you prefer that Fido chews on his favorite toy instead of that corner of the brand new couch? Make sure you are supplying your pet with treat-dispensing interactive toys to keep them busy while you are away from home and they are free to roam!
4. Groom Your Dog
Who doesn’t look forward to a new haircut, manicure or massage? Us dogs love all that, as well! Not only do grooms keep us clean and beautiful, they keep our hair, skin and attitude healthy. Brush your long-coated dogs and cats daily and also trim their nails weekly. Dog-a-holics offers professional grooming at two locations in Chicago for your convenience.
5. I.D. Your Dog
Identification tags for your pets are essential if your dog is lost or runs away and having your name, address and or phone number on the tag increases your chances of having your pet returned home. Both Dog-a-holics stores have a wide selection of stylish and durable tags to choose from.
6. Go on Walks and Play!
We have this amazing reserve of energy, no matter what time of day, especially when you mention the words, “let’s go for a walk!” Dogs should get at least one daily walk and some quality time at the local park or beach. Make sure to use a strong leash and maintain in control at all times. You’ll both benefit from the exercise too!
7. Socialize Your Dog
Well-behaved dogs have everything to do with the way they are trained, the home they are brought up in and how socialized they are with different animals and people. Expose your pet to as many kinds of places and personalities as you can and remember to praise them for accepting petting from friendly strangers and for behaving calmly around other dogs. The more your dog learns of the world, the more comfortable they’ll be in it!
8. Go to Class
We love to learn and put on our K9 thinking caps! Obedience classes, leash-walking classes, no barking classes (and more) are all offered through Dog-a-holics Training Facility. Classes are also a great way to raise a well-behaved and respectable pet! For a current listing of classes offered by Dog-a-holics, please click here.
9. Pick Up Those Nasties!
You know you’ve done it…you’ve left your pet’s waste in the grass because you didn’t have a bag or couldn’t find a trash recepticle…but that’s no excuse! Remember, animal feces can harbor dangerous bacteria, worms or fatal disease that pets can ingest and become infected with. Be respectful of your neighbors and your neighborhood by always remembering to bring a plastic bag with you on walks and disposing of your pet’s waste the right way.
10. Love your Dog
Lastly and most importantly, love your pet unconditionally because we will always do the same for you, and let’s face it, we deserve it!
Now go be the best darn dog owner you can be!