How to know if you are a responsible dog parent?

While we think being a responsible pet parent is a 24-7-365 job, it turns out the American Kennel Club (AKC) has declared September as “Responsible Dog Ownership” month. We suspect that you’ve got all of this taken care of, but just in case, the AKC has a list of seven ways to celebrate the month and practice responsible dog pet parenting.

  1. Exercise: This is more than just a walk around the block (though, of course, for some mature dogs, this is appropriate) and might include going to Fort Funston, a hike in the Marin Headlands, maybe a swim, or even a visit to our friends at Golden Gate Dog Sports for some agility. The key is to find something that both you and your dog will enjoy while getting physical exercise because if you or your dog don’t like it – you won’t do it!
  2. Health & Wellness: Keeping up your dog’s regular veterinary care – vaccines and wellness checks are always important, and this is a good reminder to make an appointment especially since so many veterinarians in San Francisco are booked weeks if not months in advance for routine care appointments.  
  3. Dog Training: Training your dog can mean everything from urban manners, such as you might learn in Camper Cadets, to Canine Good Citizen and beyond. Training is an ongoing experience for you and your dog.  Training can make your dog better behaved, keep them safe (a good recall is critical in San Francisco) and allow you to bond with your dog.
  4. Travel: Travel is back and not all travel is dog appropriate. Make sure your client file and vaccines are up to date at Pet Camp.
  5. Socialization: From group play in doggie daycare or overnight care to puppy socialization to K9 Enrichment, exposing your dog to dogs, people and stimuli is important to having a healthy dog in an urban setting. Walking around San Francisco will expose your dog to an amazing array of sites, sounds, people and dogs. Start appropriate socialization early and continue it throughout your dog’s life. If you need support with this, we are here to help.
  6. Safety: At home, this includes a secure environment with access to fresh drinking water for your dog. When out and about, planned, or unplanned, it means a collar or harness, leash, dog tags and microchip.  
  7. Emergency Preparedness: Have a plan for you and your dog (and any other pet). You can find more details on our Emergency Preparedness Blog.  

Thanks for reading and thanks for being a responsible pet parent.