Responsible Dog Ownership Day

New Pet Owners  •   Pam Karkow  •   Sep 15, 2018


Scrolling social media, I sympathized with a friend who urged her neighbors to please, please pick up after their dogs.  She said she was walking her own dog, and had to step around multiple piles on the sidewalk and common areas. Not only is this gross, it is also simply not very responsible of the owners.  Part of being a dog owner is cleaning up after your pet. With Responsible Dog Ownership Day on the horizon, let’s talk about some things every dog owner should do to be responsible.


  1. Take care of your dog.  This may seem like a no-brainer, but it is important to remember that your dog relies solely on you for his mental and physical well being.  If you forget to feed him, he doesn’t eat! But, caring for your dog goes beyond feeding him and making sure he has water. You must also give him plenty of love and attention.

  2. Respect others.  A barking dog can be a nuisance if neighbors have to listen to it all day.  Likewise, a dog off a leash can be a scary situation for a person who is afraid of dogs or has not properly met yours.  Always walk your dog on a leash, and try to train him not to bark at every passerby.

  3. Pick up after your dog.  Always take a bag to pick up after your dog when you go for a walk.  And if you forget your bag (or your dog poops more times than you have bags for), go back and pick it up.

  4. Provide adequate exercise.  Ensuring your dog gets enough exercise will help with more than just his health.  Walking provides mental stimulation for your dog, and fulfills a primal instinct. In the wild, dogs walk to find food, so it is natural for a dog to be comforted by a walk.  It’s important to make exercising your dog a priority, even in the winter months. See our post, Safe Winter Workouts for ideas.

  5. ID your dog.  Part of being a good dog mom or dad is making sure your dog is properly identified so he’ll be returned to you if he gets lost.  And sometimes just a tag on his collar is not enough. Microchipping ensures your dog will be returned to you, even if his collar falls off.  Read our post, National Check the Chip Day, for more about microchipping.

  6. Take a dog training class.  It is easy to say you will train your dog in your home, but schedules get full and sometimes the healthy peer pressure of a class with other pups can be more advantageous than one-on-one training.  Many pet stores offer dog training classes that will keep you accountable for working with your dog, help you bond with him in a healthy way, and encourage your four-legged buddy to be polite when around other humans and dog friends.

  7. Make and keep regular vet appointments.  It is important to keep up with vaccines, not just for the health of your dog, but for the health of other animals he may come into contact with.  PetPartners can help keep you on track with their Wellness and Preventative Plans.

  8. Remember why you got a dog!  Dogs enrich our lives so much, but it can be easy to get bogged down with the extra chores that come along with caring for a dog.  Our youngest feeds our dog every evening and our big boys walk her and pick up after her in the yard. Involve your family in the caretaking, and then you can enjoy the fun parts, like the unconditional love a dog provides, even more.  Go for long walks with your pooch on the weekends, or try a dog park with a friend.


Being a responsible dog owner can be easy when you think of your dog as an integral part of your family, like a furry kid.


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Pam Karkow

About the Author
Pam Karkow

Hi, I'm Pam. List maker, note taker, and avid reader. I'm married to my college sweetheart and we have three amazing kids, all of them boys. We also have one furry child, a golden retriever rescue dog. I have been blogging for PetPartners since 2015, and I love researching and writing tips about how to be a better pet parent. I spend most of my time sharing my adventures at, where I share the ways I am learning to be a better wife and mom--to my two and four-legged children.