What makes a dog owner a responsible dog owner? In celebration of Responsible Dog Ownership day, we’ve compiled quotes from some of our staff about how they uphold responsibility as a dog owner. Do you do some of these same things?
I spay/neuter my dog(s).
“One thing I view is a responsibility for all of my dogs is have them spayed/neutered.” – Ruben, Dog Care Supervisor
Spaying/neutering your dog can be beneficial to your dog’s overall health. This can also decrease unwanted behaviors that may occur during your dog’s typical heat cycle when they are looking to mate such as roaming. Not only is this beneficial to you and your dog, your act of spaying/neutering your pet plays an important part in decreasing the pet overpopulation crisis that we are facing!
I keep my dogs up-to-date on their vaccines.
“As a responsible dog owner, I make sure my dog is happy and healthy by staying on top of her vaccines. In our shelter, my dog also does temperament testing with our shelter dogs and since we don’t know if those dogs are sick, having her up to date on her vaccines is important.”- Mariah, Dog Care Associate
Vaccinations are important in keeping your dog as healthy as possible and helps prevents them from illnesses and diseases that can be very deadly! Don’t forget that some vaccinations also require booster shots after the initial one. If your dog needs vaccinating, be sure to visit our clinic because we have vaccines for as low as $17!
I give my dogs exercise and mental enrichment.
“I always make sure my dog is getting adequate and daily exercise and playtime, especially when it comes to my more active, high energy dogs. It’s crucial I make sure they have a good chunk of time every day to really play and get a lot of that pent up energy out. On days where the weather isn’t as good and we need to stay inside, I always make sure to have enrichment toys on the ready to keep his mind stimulated.” – Lindsey, Cat Care Associate
Exercise and enrichment is important for our canine companions. Even the most laid back dog would benefit from a brisk walk or some exercises that challenge the mind. We’re not saying you need to run a marathon with your dog, but don’t be afraid to challenge them from time to time.
I set aside time for my dogs.
“With having 3 dogs, I make sure that I spend some one on one time with each of them, either playing with a toy or simply giving them a lot of love. I believe that one on one contact is important for each of them.” –Rob, Executive Director
“One thing I do as a responsible pet owner is make sure I set aside time for just my dogs. During the work week and with a new baby, things get buys sometimes. I make sure I either take them for a walk, give them a brush, or set aside some play time and cuddles with them just to make sure they don’t feel left out.” – Maegan, Dog Park Supervisor
Now that many of us are going back to school or to work, our routines may have changed among other things. Don’t neglect your doggie companion and be sure to set aside time for them! Even just a few minutes of playtime or affection can mean the world of difference to our dogs!
I do weekly checks on my dog.
“Due to the type of breed he is (Pit Bull) and his age, I pet my doggie down weekly to look for any changes of skin condition and any lumps/bumps that may have come up suddenly.” -Cam, Animal Care Manager
It’s good practice to perform weekly physical checks on our dogs. Their fur may be covering a wound you didn’t notice or maybe they were bitten by a tick! Take a few minutes of your day to run your hands through your dog’s body just to make sure everything looks and feels ok! If you notice anything out of place, don’t hesitate to call your vet.
I tend to my dog’s specific needs.
“There are a ton of things one can do to be a responsible dog owner. Other than the biggest responsibility of them all, spaying or neutering, the top one in my household is tending to the needs of the specific dogs you have! For example, I have a Husky who needs brushing very regularly and even though she is quite the stubborn girl, I make sure it gets done before it becomes a problem.” – Anjanette, Cat Care Associate
Specific breeds may have specific needs, or maybe your dog has special needs just because of who they are. It’s important as dog owners that we meet the needs of our furry companions. Some dogs may need more exercise, some may need specific diets, and some may need more one-on-one time with you!
I am a voice for my pet.
“I think the biggest thing one can do to be a responsible pet owner is taking care of them, be patient , loving and understanding of your pet. They are not able to speak so that is why we are their voice, they trust and depend on us to take care of them.” – Maritza, Cat Care Supervisor and Foster Care Coordinator
Have a dog that’s normally high energy but then is suddenly just napping all day? Or, have a dog that usually eats only one bowl of food but is now suddenly wolfing down two bowls? Something’s up! Our pets cannot speak up for themselves when they need help or want something. As responsible dog owners, it is up to us to be able to provide love and care for them and to be able to interpret their actions and behaviors. If there’s ever any uncertainty, it’s important to consult with a vet!
These were just a list of some things our staff does for their dogs. What are some things you do?
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Valley Animal Center
At Valley Animal Center, our mission is to unite dogs and cats with loving people. We see pets as lifelong companions and strive to find our animals a furever home that remains furever. We understand happy furever homes begin with informed adopters and easily accessible resources. Through a holistic approach to pet ownership and pet care, we provide health and wellness services to our adopters and pet owners in the Central Valley. With our low-cost clinic and membership based dog park, as well as through humane educational resources found through our website, we aim to be the leading source of health and well-being for companion animals so that pets and pet owners are happy, healthy, and furever.