Updated: Feb 15
Being a dog owner means taking on several important social responsibilities. Read on to learn about several things that socially responsible dog owners keep in mind.
As a dog owner, you undoubtedly recognize the responsibilities that are placed on your shoulders. This is true whether you are the parent of your first dog or your latest dog. Being a dog owner means that you must do everything, from taking your dog out for walks to ensuring that your dog is properly fed every day.
In the end, it is all worth it, as our dogs give us so much love and joy on a daily basis. But that said, many dog owners forget that there are social responsibilities to owning a dog. These social responsibilities may not be at the top of mind, yet dog owners implicitly agree to these responsibilities when owning their furry friends.
Because of this, it is worth our time to take a look at some of these social responsibilities. Fulfilling these responsibilities not only makes us better dog owners, but helps us positively contribute to all of our communities.
Social Responsibilities for Dog Owners...
Picking up after your dog
To start, one of the most prominent social responsibilities for dog owners is picking up after your dog in public places. Let’s face it: this is something that most of us don’t inherently want to do. Nevertheless, it is a required part of dog ownership.
Without picking up after our dogs, we are committing a form of littering. We are making our communities a little less beautiful. Not only that, but we are forcing others to clean up after us. At the very least, this may lead to some dirty looks and harsh words. But beyond that, you may even be ticketed by the local council.
Ultimately, you can avoid all of this by cleaning up after your dog in public places—no matter how displeasing it may be. Your city’s residents and visitors will thank you.
From picking up after your dog, you must next make sure that it is not aggressive. There is a fine line here. On one hand, you want your dog to have the most fun possible. But on the other hand, you have to recognize that there are other people around you—some of whom do not necessarily like dogs.
There are several ways to go about this. Most obviously, you can keep your dog on a leash or harness when you are away from your home. But if you are looking to avoid this, you’ll need to keep a close watch on your dog. Training can go a long way here, as well-trained dogs will require less of your attention. You can’t be totally disengaged, however. You’ll need to pay attention and step in if your dog is (or is about to become) aggressive.
Next, make sure that your dog doesn’t bark excessively. Like aggression, this is something that may not be in your complete control. Dogs are animals, after all, and we can’t always control their behavior. Having said this, we can control the amount of training that we give them. Training our dogs to stay quiet on demand can be a relief to our neighbors. But beyond that, it can also give us some much-needed peace and quiet.
If your dog still isn’t trained and continues to excessively bark, think about investing in further training. There are plenty of online resources or trainers for hire that can help control your dog’s excessive barking. However you go about it, take the time to control your dog’s barking. It will go a long way in building goodwill with your neighbors and community.
Finally, make sure that your dog has all of the necessary vaccinations. Certainly, you will want to do this for the health of your dog. But along with this, staying up to date on your dog’s vaccinations keeps other dogs safe. One of the worst things that can happen is if your unvaccinated dog spreads a disease to other dogs, particularly puppies, like parvovirus – a disease with a high mortality rate for young dogs. Therefore, take the time to get your dog vaccinated. You’ll be doing your community a big favor.
The bottom line? Being a dog owner is one of the best things in the world. But along with taking care of our dogs, we need to take on the societal responsibilities of having a dog. While they aren’t overly burdensome, they do exist. Keep them in mind as you enjoy adventures with your furry best friend.