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Dogs bring tons of fun and love to our lives, but they also require a lot of care by dedicated owners. In recognition of AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Month , we have a list of things every good dog owner should do for his or her canine family members.

  1. No matter how adorable and smart your dogs are, remember that they are still dogs and are completely dependent on you for for their physical and mental well-being.
  2. Don’t allow your dogs to adversely affect others. Nuisance barking should be controlled through good management and by providing appropriate outlets. Do not allow your dogs to run loose—for their safety and that of other people and dogs.
  3. Always pick up after your dogs! Dog waste, in public areas, is unpleasant and unsanitary.
  4. Provide adequate exercise. Take your dogs for walks and play with them, even if you are tired and just want to crash on the couch. After you give them exercise, you'll be able to snuggle up with them in a comfy spot.
  5. Your dogs should have proper identification, such as a microchip, collar with contact information, and/or tattoo). Keep contact information current.
  6. Your dogs don’t need to be trained to professional standards, but providing basic training will make them more pleasant to have around. A well-behaved dog is a good ambassador. Consider training and testing for the AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC) test. Click here to learn more about the program.
  7. Have the whole family read the AKC Responsible Dog Owner Pet Promise.
  8. Get involved in dog sports! There are many AKC companion events in which all dogs are eligible to compete. To find the right one for you and your canine friends, click here.
  9. Keep your dogs in good health. Give them good food and don’t let them become overweight. If you aren’t sure whether your dogs need to lose weight, here’s how to tell.
  10. Remember why you got a dog, especially at the times your pet seems inconvenient. Dogs don’t do things out of revenge or anger; they are just being dogs. But it's because they are dogs that we find them to be so wonderful.

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Tips for Responsible Dog Owners

This e-book is a great resource for anyone who's considering dog ownership or already owns a dog. Download for tips on how to be the best dog owner you can be.