(WTNH) -- This week is National Dog Week and having a dog can be a huge responsibility.
Dogs need order and leadership from their "pack leader," which means that good canine manners start with you!
Basic tips for responsible dog ownership:
- Get your dog spayed or neutered. Spayed/neutered pets not only live longer and healthier lives, but they also make better companions.
- Provide proper identification. Your dog should always wear an I.D. tag with your name, address and phone number. Getting your dog microchipped gives an added layer of protection.
- Get training to help you understand your dog. Knowing your dog's unique temperament and tendencies will help you to better control how he behaves. His good manners will reflect positively on you, his responsible owner.
- Schedule regular check-ups with your veterinarian. Choose a veterinarian who shares your medical philosophies and beliefs, then follow his/her recommendations for vaccinations, diet, spaying/neutering, annual checkups, and other care.
- Make time for your dog. Owning a dog is a big responsibility that takes time and discipline. Make time daily to pet, play with, take on walks, or do other activities with your dog that are fun for both of you.
- Give your dog regular exercise appropriate for his breed, age, size, and other unique characteristics.
- Provide shelter for your dog. A crate or doghouse is an ideal place for your dog to rest and sleep for a limited amount of time. The enclosure should be large enough for your dog to sit, stand and turn around comfortably, but small enough to retain his body heat inside the shelter.
- Travel safely. Keep your dog safe in the car by using a crate or by attaching the dog to a seat belt with a harness. Never let your dog ride free in the back of a pickup truck (he could be thrown into traffic) or allow him to hang his head out of the car window (a danger to his eyes).
- Watch for temperature extremes. Never leave your dog in the car if it is extremely hot or cold outside. Your car is like an oven under the blazing sun and a freezer in the bitter cold.
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