Becoming a Responsible Dog Parent: A Guide to Action

Being a responsible dog parent is not only essential for the well-being of your pet, but it also demonstrates your commitment to being a good pet owner.

Demonstrating Responsible Dog Parenting A Guide for Pet Owners

Being a responsible dog parent is not only essential for the well-being of your pet, but it also demonstrates your commitment to being a good pet owner.

With more families welcoming dogs into their homes, practicing responsible pet ownership should be the foundation and key to every dog owner, regardless if you have had dogs all your life or are new to dog parenthood.

Practicing responsible dog parenting is beneficial to every family with a dog.

As a seasoned dog mom and a pet professional, I have seen my fair share of dog parents acting responsibly and irresponsibly.

Irresponsible pet parents hurt the pet community and give pets a lousy reputation.

In this post, you will learn how to become a responsible dog parent, easy-to-follow steps demonstrating responsible dog parenting, and considerations to change and redirect irresponsible pet parenting.

This blog is about how to become a responsible pet owner.

Tips to becoming a responsible pet parent.

Teach Your Dog Basic Obedience.

Signs your a good dog owner

A dog with an understanding of basic obedience training (sit, stay, off, etc.) goes a long way in the dog community and creates more dog-friendly places.

A dog trained and can follow basic obedience commands is more welcoming than a dog without training.

If a dog parent decides to not teach their dog manners and lets them misbehave, set their dog up for failure to be welcomed at dog groomers, doggie daycares, dog parks, and any pet-friendly environment.

Signs you are a good dog owner

Places like restaurants and stores reject pets indoors or on the premises and become non-pet-friendly because of the lack of well-behaved dogs and the actions of irresponsible dog parenting.

Do you want your dog to be welcomed anywhere you go together, help create more pet-friendly places to visit with your dog, and show the community you take your responsibilities as a dog owner seriously?

Then teach your dog basic obedience.

Remember, manners matter.

Keep Your Dog Clean and Well Groomed.

Pet Owner Responsibilites

No one likes to be a hot mess, not even your dog.

A clean and well-kept dog gives the best impression of your dog and shows you care too.

Ensure you bathe your dog or take them to a professional dog groomer to remove any dirt, grime, and foul odors their coat and fur may have.

Use dog grooming wipes or pet-friendly dry shampoo to maintain their clean appearance for those in between baths or grooming appointments.

Responsible Dog Owners

Keep their coat free of tangles with routine brushing, and keep their nails nice and trimmed.

Matted coats and long nails are not healthy for any dog and can create some health issues with time.

Let your dog make the best impression on every human they meet by keeping them fresh and clean.

Stay On Top of Your Dog’s Health.

Responsible Dog Ownership

Keep track of your dog’s health and wellness with regular visits to the vet.

Taking your dog to the vet for routine visits is a great way to ensure your pup is healthy and catch any health issues before it’s too late to treat.

Perform head-to-tail wellness checks at home and note any discrepancies you may find on your dog (lumps, bumps, painful joints) to discuss with your vet on their next appointment.

Please keep a record of current vaccinations, preventatives, supplements, medications, and how much food they eat daily.

How to be a better pet parent

If you notice your dog is acting unusual, has been injured, or has fallen ill, don’t hesitate to call your vet and get them in for a complete examination if needed.

Don’t jump on social media or online chat forums to ask if you should take your dog to the vet.

Some injuries and illnesses are time sensitive, and getting your dog immediate veterinary medical attention is crucial.

Save and Budget for Veterinary Visits.

Responsible Dog Parenting

Let’s face it, vet visits are costly, and things can quickly add up depending on why your dog is being seen at the vet, especially if it is an emergency.

Set aside a little money monthly and budget wisely for regular vet check-ups or emergency vet visits.

Consider getting pet insurance and/or wellness packages offered by your vet clinic to help with the costs of veterinary visits.

Pet Insurance for Dogs

Pawlicy Advisor is a great online resource to help you navigate pet insurance companies and choose the right company and pet insurance plan for your pet’s needs and budget.

I know it’s an easy choice and is often done by pet parents, but don’t rely on crowdfunding like GoFundMe or asking others to pay for your pup’s medical bills.

Plan for all veterinary costs, emergencies, and non-emergency by setting aside a little bit of your paycheck or getting a credit card, like Care Credit, and designate it for veterinary use only.

Paying for your pet’s medical expenses is YOUR responsibility and no one else’s.

Get Your Dog Microchipped.

Why Should You Get Your Dog Microchipped

Dogs go missing every day and are often not reunited with their families because they do not have a microchip.

Sometimes it might be costly to microchip your pet at the vet, but many local animal shelters will have microchipping fundraising events and offer this service at a discounted rate.

Microchips help identify the pet’s owner and help reunite a lost pet with their family.

Why you need to get your pet microchipped

Identification tags or embroidered identification collars can fall or be taken off, but a microchip is permanent, and the owner’s information can be easily found.

Microchips are also a great backup plan should your pet’s id tags fall off.

Some cities and counties have an ordinance requiring pets to be microchipped, and owners can be fined if their pet is not microchipped.

Pet Microchip Law Hawaii

In 2020, the City & County of Honolulu began requiring by law that all pet dogs 3 months and older and cats 4 months and older must have microchip identification.

Remember to check the chip and ensure all your contact information is current and up-to-date.

If you change your phone number or move from your current address, be sure, the new information is updated on your pet’s microchip account.

Feed Your Pup Good Food.

What should I feed my dog

Feeding your dog a healthy, well-balanced diet is an important responsibility for any dog parent.

With so many food options and personal budgets, choosing the right food for your dog can be difficult without breaking the bank.

Not all doggy diets are created equal, and sometimes specific diets might have a negative effect on a current health issue your dog may have.

Once again, do some research and look into different dog diets and food options that benefit your dog’s health and wellness, do not compromise any ongoing health issues your dog has, and you can financially maintain.

What is the best food to feed my dog

Times are tough for many pet parents, and you should never feel guilty for not being able to afford a specific dog diet for your pup.

There’s no need to go broke with your dog’s food, but you shouldn’t skim on your pup’s food because you’re a cheap skate. or are great online resources to help during your research and guide you through pet nutrition.

Whether you’re feeding your dog dry kibble, raw, grain-free, vegan, gluten-free, or ultra-premium diet, always know exactly what you are feeding your dog and how much.

Always Provide Fresh, Clean Water and a Clean Bowl

Why do dogs need clean water

How gross would it be to reach for some water to drink, only to find a dirty glass and the water has floating bits in it?

If you wouldn’t drink dirty water, why do you think it’s ok for your dog?

Keep your dog’s water bowl clean.

Dog water bowls can become slimy after a few fills, and that slim build-up can often trap bacteria.

Why do dogs need fresh water

Thoroughly rinse your dog’s water bowl between refills and wash your dog’s water bowl routinely to remove any slim or grim developing in the bowl.

Dump out old and/or dirty water and refill the bowl with cool fresh drinking water.

Never provide ice water for your dog, even on the hottest day.

Ice water can negatively shock their system and send them into a life-threatening medical emergency.

Fresh cool water from the sink or garden hose is a suitable temperature for your dog to drink.

Clean Up After Your Dog.

Why do you need to pick up dog poop

One of the biggest pet peeves among dog owners and non-dog owners is dog parents who don’t bother to clean up after their dogs.

Nothing is worse than stepping in dog poop left behind, especially when it doesn’t belong to your dog, or you don’t own a dog.

Don’t be rude and disrespectful by leaving your dog’s mess for someone else to deal with and clean up.

It doesn’t matter if you’re out for a walk, at the park, beach, or at a pet-friendly event; you should have the necessary essentials to clean up after your dog.

Why pick up dog poop

Always have a roll of dog waste bags to scoop that poop wherever it may fall.

Consider taking a pack of pet-friendly wet wipes for any watery messes or to wipe your pup’s rear end or paws.

If your pup urinates, poops, or vomits, clean it up as soon as possible and throw it away in the nearest trash bin or designated pet waste bin.

Some cities and counties have laws regarding not cleaning up after your dog, and you may or may not find warning signs posted to alert you of the legal repercussions of leaving your dog’s waste behind.

dog poop law hawaii

In July 2019, the state of Hawai’i enacted On July 1, 2019, law H.B NO. 127 that “classifies allowing an animal under a person’s care or control to drop fecal matter on public or private property as littering.”

Anyone in violation will be fined a minimum of $100.00 but not more than $500.00, plus mandatory community service of picking up litter for four hours. That is just for first-time offenders.

After the first violation, every time you are caught violating H.B. No 127, you are looking at a $500.00 penalty fee and eight hours of community service.

In addition, it is prohibited in the City and County of Honolulu to wash any pet waste down streams, drainage channels, streets, and gutters.

All pet waste must be picked up and disposed of in the trash.

Keep Your Dog Safe at All Times.

pet safety tips

Practicing pet safety, no matter the circumstance, should be another priority for any dog parent.

Pet-proof your home and remove any hazards that can inflict injury or cause your dog to get sick.

Block access to the kitchen and trash bins to prevent your dog from eating any food with toxic ingredients or getting their heads into food bags leading to suffocation.

how to keep a safe at home

If your dog is a “chewer,” don’t leave any exposed cords to avoid your dog chewing and getting electrocuted.

Restrict access to any pools to prevent your dog from accidentally falling into the pool and potentially drowning.

Practice pet fire safety by placing dogs in crates, kennels, or pens in plain sight with easy access.

If a fire breaks out, you want emergency personnel and firefighters to easily find your pets and get them out of harm’s way.

why is animal safety important

When driving in the car with your dog, ensure your dog is properly restrained in the vehicle.

Dogs should be secured with dog seatbelts or inside a crate for their safety when riding in cars.

Prevent your dog from causing a distraction, jumping out of the vehicle, or getting injured in a collision.

Anytime your dog is out in public with you on a leash, ensure the leash is in good condition and the attachments are working.

Collars and harnesses should be well fitting and free of rips or tears.

You don’t want the leash to snap or your dog to slip out of their collar or harness should they become scared by noise or distracted by another animal and run into traffic and get injured.

Be Respectful of Your Fellow Dog Parents.

how to become a responsible pet owner

Every person is different and will have different methods of raising their dog, and that’s ok.

It’s important to respect differences and understand that your way of doing things with your dog is not the only way.

Respect any boundaries other pet parents have.

Always ask if it’s ok to pet another person’s dog or allow your dog to approach the other person’s dog.

tips to becoming a responsible pet parent

If someone doesn’t allow you to pet their dog or wants your dog to maintain a distance from there’s, don’t get hurt or offended.

You don’t know the reason for their pet boundaries, and the other person is under no obligation to give you an explanation, so don’t demand one.

Don’t be a jerk and “dog parent shame” someone because they don’t feed their dog the same diet, won’t let you pet their dog, train their dog using another method, put clothes on their dog, don’t have pet insurance, or whatever.

responsible dog parent guide

As long as the dog is not in physical danger, don’t force your dog parenting lifestyle down the throat of the other person.

It’s better to agree to disagree, keep your opinions to yourself (unless asked), and keep the peace for dog’s sake.

There is plenty of madness going on in the world to invite extra drama into your life and the lives of your fellow dog parents.

Take a Pet First Aid and CPR Training Class.

dog and cat first aid training hawaii

Taking pet first aid and CPR training is a valuable and beneficial step for any responsible pet parent.

By learning how to handle emergencies, you can ensure that you are prepared to act quickly and effectively in case of an injury or illness to your pet.

Pet first aid training can help you to identify and respond to a range of issues, including injuries, choking, poisoning, and cardiac events, giving you the knowledge and confidence to provide the best possible care for your pet.

pet first aid and cpr training hawaii

By being prepared and knowledgeable, you can reduce stress and anxiety a dog parent feels when dealing with a pet emergency, and help to increase your pet’s chances of a quick recovery.

Overall, pet first aid and CPR training is an essential aspect of responsible pet parenting, and is a demonstration of your commitment to your pet’s health and well-being.

how to be a responsible dog owner

Being a responsible dog owner is a big responsibility, but it is also one of the most rewarding experiences you can have as a pet parent.

Committing to responsible dog ownership ensures that your pet will live a long and fulfilling life while demonstrating the love and care you have for your dog.

This blog was about ways to be a responsible dog owner.

Written by 

Leave a Reply