Responsible Dog Ownership Day is Sept. 9. Puppies are adorable, but those cute puppies are completely dependent on their owners to help them become happy, healthy, well-adjusted adult dogs.
Because adding a dog to your home is a major commitment, the American Kennel Club shares the following tips to ensure that you and your dog lead a happy life together:
Daily care: Take care of your dog inside and out with regular grooming, quality food and trips to the veterinarian. Be sure that all vaccinations are current.
Exercise: Always provide the proper amount of exercise and mental stimulation that is appropriate for your dog's breed, age and energy level. This can help promote good health and prevent destructive behavior.
Socialization: Be sure to socialize your dog by exposing him to new people, places and experiences. Socialization will help your dog live a happy, well-adjusted life.
Obedience: Provide basic training by teaching your dog some simple commands like "sit," "stay" and "come." You can try an obedience class, which is a great way for you and your dog to bond.
Be courteous: Be respectful of your community by adhering to local leash laws and picking up and properly disposing of your pet's waste when out on walks.
Identification: Identify your dog with a collar tag and/or microchip ID. If you use a microchip, make sure to enroll him in a pet recovery service like AKC Reunite and keep your contact information updated.
For more information on responsible dog ownership, visit akc.org.