Google "responsible dog ownership" and you will be flooded with images and sites. On DogWellNet, we aim to lead you to examples of dependable sources of information. Our partners and collaborators will be contributing resources that to which you will be able to link and/or find in our Downloads section. Also, while we realize pre-acquisition issues are part of responsible dog ownership, on this site we have separated them due to the fact that they have slightly different audiences. In addition, responsible dog ownership is, of course, a function of human-animal (human-dog) interactions, included under the Welfare category on the site.
Responsible Dog Ownership
Depending on where you are in the world, “responsible dog ownership” could have very different meanings. Some definitions might be as basic as providing adequate food and shelter, while others go into tremendous detail about how you should care for your dog, including:
• choosing the right dog for your family
• how to care for his physical mental wellbeing throughout his life
• vaccinations and veterinary care
• spay and neuter to help prevent dog overpopulation
• commit to proper training and socialization• invest in pet health insurance
• adhere to all licensing and registrations in your area
• maintain proper pet identification
There are also some basic public behaviors that most countries expect you to follow. Abiding by leash laws, picking up after your dog (poop and scoop), being respectful of dog park etiquette, and adhering to any breed-specific legislation in your city are just a handful of these guidelines.
The American Kennel Club has a list of 101 suggestions for being a responsible dog owner. The Swedish Kennel Club publishes two excellent booklets, one on owning a dog in the city, which includes a section on responsible dog ownership, and one that speaks to 12 smart steps for pet owners. The Kennel Club of the United Kingdom offers an entertaining brochure called The Canine Code that address all stages and responsibilities of dog ownership. Responsible Pet Ownership South Africa has an excellent article on the subject, as does Pet India.
The one overarching statement, no matter where you are, is that when you decide to bring a dog into your family, you are accepting responsibility for every aspect of that animal’s care for its entire life.