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responsible dog ownership

Posted By SLCo Animal Services
August 30, 2018

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Dogs bring many benefits into our lives and to ensure they remain healthy, happy and safe it is important that we are invested in their well-being and the well-being of those around them. If you are thinking of adopting a new dog it is important to take into consideration all the care involved. Their size, energy, medical care and temperament. It is also important to consider your lifestyle and the type of dog that would fit it best.

Owning a dog is not just a privilege-it’s a responsibility.

Some of the basics of pet ownership include:

Regular veterinarian exams, yearly vaccinations, Spaying/Neutering ,training, a good diet, proper identification (IE: Collar, tag and a microchip), keeping your dog safe from the elements, cleaning up your dog’s poop, exercise for their body and mind and keeping your dog leashed in public.

Being a responsible pet owner involves more than assuring your dog is healthy and regularly sees a veterinarian. A mentally and physically stimulated dog will be a happy dog and a wonderful family member. Here are some very basic obedience commands that dogs should learn to help make them good “Canine Citizens."

*Sit

*Stay

*Come

*Drop it

Not only is this fun for you and your dog to learn together but these can be very helpful tools when you are out in the community. A well-behaved dog is a reflection of his/her owner. It's easy to go online and find videos that will teach you how to train your dog or you can sign up for a basic obedience class with a local trainer. Many dogs end up being surrendered to a shelter because of “behavior” issues, which if the owner would have worked with their dog these “behaviors” could have been curbed.

 There are many local dog friendly hiking trails in Utah, getting your dog out on walks or hikes is healthy for both of you and a healthy dog is a happy dog. If you have had a busy day and did not have the chance to get a walk in, you can play fetch or tug. Pull out a food puzzle at feeding time and exercise their mind.

Socialize your dog to new people, places, things and other dogs. Unsocialized or under socialized dogs can be fearful, anxious and timid and when this is left unchecked it can lead to aggressiveness.

Take care of your dog when they get old. Remember, you will grow old one day too and it is important to go on the difficult journey at the end. Everything is easier for your dog when you are there.

And last but certainly not least Love your dog! Unfortunately, dogs are with us for a relatively short time. Make that time the best it can be for you and your best friend. You have your work, your entertainment and your friends. They only have you.