How to be a Responsible Dog Owner and the Benefits it Brings

being-a-responsible-dog-owner

    Being a responsible dog owner doesn’t always mean the same thing to everyone and includes the care you give to your dog, from exercise to meeting their dietary requirements, training them and caring for their health needs.

    As dog owners, we try to do the best we can for our four-legged friends. If you are considering getting a dog you may be wondering how to be a responsible dog owner and the benefits it brings.

    There is nothing quite like the honour of owning a dog – it truly is an honour! When a dog is devoted to you, there is nothing that they wouldn’t do for you. You become the centre of their world, and your happiness means everything to them.

    In turn, we have just as much of a duty to do whatever we can to ensure their happiness. However, making sure that they are happy is not the only responsibility that you will have as a dog owner. Whether you have adopted a new puppy or an older dog, most dogs need dedicated training and specific attention from a vet throughout their lives. However, all dogs need medical checks, regular play, balanced diets, good exercise, home comforts, guaranteed safety, and above all, love.

    If you are considering getting puppies of your own, it’s time to learn about the responsibilities you’ll take on. Even if you have had dogs before, there are always ways to improve and always more things that you can do to ensure that your dog is living the best life possible. What’s more, being a responsible dog owner means being careful with waste – and the planet around us!

    Below, we will take a closer look at what it means to be a responsible dog owner and what being such a good owner will bring back to you. From the food and treatments to training and the dog apparel, keep reading for our complete guide on what you need to know.

    What Does it Mean to Be a ‘Responsible Dog Owner’?

    Responsible dog ownership does not always mean the same thing to everyone. While some of us may assume that being a responsible dog owner simply means feeding them on time and walking them every now and then, the rest of us pet owners know that it takes a lot more to be a truly responsible dog owner!

    The responsibility starts with adopting the dog. Many pet owners would suggest that adopting is already a responsible move, and in many ways, it can be. Not only will you be saving a life, but you also get to participate in the idea that the dog will choose you too. If you believe in fate, then this can be a beautiful way of creating a new lifelong relationship with your furry little friend.

    On the other hand, some of us know exactly what kind of breed we want based on what our family members desire, or simply a breed that we have always preferred (you can also rehome your favourite breed).

    If you are looking for a breed-specific puppy, then it is your duty to find a responsible breeder. That means finding a breeder with the right legal documentation and that practices in safe and hygienic, cruelty-free conditions to ensure the wellbeing and health of all of the animals involved.

    Then, once you have a dog, you will need to consider its training. All pups need training, whether it is a puppy or an older dog. The training not only helps with its behaviour, but it also improves your relationship with the dog by providing quality bonding time – as well as providing good mental stimulation for you him or her.

    Now, training your dog doesn’t have to be expensive, as you can do it by yourself by following certain online tutorials or by seeking advice from other dog owners. However, should you not be certain about how to train your dog properly, then it is worth investing in a professional dog trainer.

    Next, you will need to consider your dog’s diet. Generic, mass-produced dog food has been found to not always be the best thing for your dog as it can contain ingredients known as fillers that are simply there to increase the volume of the food in the bag, box or tin, and actually have no nutritional value for your dog. That is why it is essential to read the ingredients on the dog food as well as the sources of the ingredients!

    As responsible, eco-friendly dog owners, we should also consider how we can reduce our impacts on the world around us. Pet owners and non-pet owners owe a duty to the planet – and as well as thinking about your own dog’s health and well being, do also consider packaging, plastic content and more.

    That goes for toys, food packets, and even dog leads – there are a lot of elements to dog ownership that create waste and can potentially damage the world around us. As such, being a responsible dog owner also means looking carefully at what you buy and consume.

    What Are The Benefits of Being a Good Dog Owner?

    As much as good dog ownership may require effort, it is definitely worth the investment! Non-pet owners do not get to know the sheer delight and unconditional love that our puppies bring to us. Dogs have proven to reduce stress, increase happiness and health in their owners – when they are well looked after, of course. In fact, dogs are so positive for us that they have become regular visitors in care homes and children’s hospitals as they can significantly improve morale. The happiness factor is mutual!

    However, there is nothing quite like having your own dog. They truly are our best friends, and some of the many benefits of owning a dog include a healthier daily routine for us (including regular exercise), better sleep (due to the added comfort of extra security as well as the added exercise), playtime to let off steam and reduce stress, overall lower blood pressure, and devoted love and care. You’re never alone or unloved if you have pets. Any pet owner will tell you the same!

    All the benefits of being a responsible dog owner – and one who is careful with plastic and carbon – add up to an enormous feeling of satisfaction. You’re doing a great job for your dogs – and even if you swap out a few pieces of plastic, for example, you’re doing a good job at protecting the planet.

    eco-dog-toys-and treats

    How to be a Good Dog Owner

    Being a good dog owner means more than regular check ups, good food and a healthy diet, long walks and playtime. Look at how other owners look after other dogs – there’s a wonderful experience to be had, and yes, while it’s great you keep your pup up to date on vaccinations and parasite control, you really need to get to know your pup, too.

    Here are a few ideas to help you get to know your dog better – no matter their age, and no matter their breed.

    1. Put Your Pet First

    The first part of being a good pet owner is understanding that your dog is a family member. They should be treated with the same amount of care and respect that you would give to any other member of the family, which means putting them first.

    When you make your plans (whether it is to do with your work or your personal life), you will need to take your dog into consideration. Your dog cannot be an afterthought. That is why being a responsible dog owner is such a commitment!

    Consider how your choices will affect them in any way to ensure that you are always putting their best interests first. Do you have time or space in your house to carefully look after a dog? That means more than just having time to walk them, too.

    2. Take the Time to Get to Know Them

    All dog owners know that dogs have different personalities, needs, and tastes. Being a good responsible dog owner means knowing your friend’s tastes and quirks!

    It will take some time to get to know them properly, as is the case with any other relationship in your life. Pay attention to their preferences in food, toys, beds, walking areas, etc. Once you know them well enough, you will be able to better cater to their needs and tastes, which will make their and, in turn, your life that much more enjoyable.

    3. Prioritise Your Time with Them

    A responsible dog owner knows that nothing is more important to their dogs than time with their human friends. You are the centre of their lives. Between work, social lives and family obligations, it can seem a little difficult to make time for your dog.

    However, just because they cannot say to you in words that they need you does not mean that you have the right to ignore it. Your dog needs regular playtime, walks, training sessions and even relaxing time with you.

    Do not leave your dog to be an afterthought! That may occasionally mean turning down social events or just getting used to bringing your dog with you where you can. You can trust us – it will be as much of a pleasure for you as it will be for them to spend as much time with you as possible, and it will be the most rewarding way of keeping your dog happy and healthy.

    4. Remember That Their Safety and Health Comes First

    While some dog owners tend to see their dogs as being almost like tools for their safety or as living teddy bears, your dog is a living creature that needs regular checkups, care and attention. Dogs do experience health issues as we do, and as is the case with us, the earlier the issues are addressed, the better the care.

    Even beyond the checkups, their health and safety also requires regular exercise, mental stimulation, flea and worm treatments, as well as even buying the right dog lead and harness for them! 

    Their diet also plays a huge role in their health and safety. When buying their dog food and dog treats, remember to read the ingredients to ensure that they are all healthy for your dog and that they have been ethically sourced. This will significantly assist your dog’s health and improve their time with you. If you’re really unsure, always ask your vet for advice. Do take a look for eco-friendly and cruelty-free dog food and bathing products, too. There are many ways for you to do right for your dog’s mind and body, as well as the planet.

    5. Prepare a Budget

    As you have seen, all that goes into taking care of our pets does cost a lot of money. Between vet bills and food, as well as toys and dog apparel, the best pet owners take the time to prepare the budget for their dogs.

    You need to know that you always can pay for what your dog needs. Pet insurance is a very wise investment, as long as you are with the right company and on the right policy! However, when it comes to their food, treats, toys and beds, you should never just go for the cheapest option as it can also be the most damaging or useless. Take the time to find the right ones for your budget, but do make sure that they are the best ones available for your dog.

    Again, eco-friendly options are a must. Consider your vet and their recommendations. If you can afford to spend a little more to cut down on plastic waste, it is absolutely worth the investment.

    Conclusion

    Being a responsible dog owner definitely takes a lot of dedication in time, money and effort. Your dog’s well being goes beyond just feeding and walking them. A dog requires a lot of attention and care, from a balanced diet to good animal products, to taking care of them when they are sick and dedicating time to play and walks. You owe all of this to them!

    However, invest yourself in your pet, and you will find that the care that you give will not feel like a chore. Non-owners may assume that that kind of investment must be difficult, but just as you would do anything for the family members that you love, you will happily do anything for the well being of your dog.

    That is why if you are unable to provide them with what they need, then you should pause getting a dog until you are ready. However, once you do have a pup in your life, at the right time and in the right way, you will be opening yourself up to some wonderful experiences.

    Being a responsible dog owner means looking after your dog’s health issues, being careful to invest in eco-friendly products, and simply being there for them. They’re putting a lot of trust and love into you – it’s time to reciprocate!

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