The AKC sponsors a Responsible Dog Ownership Day every September, with events and celebrations around the country. With that in mind, I made up my list of what I believe constitutes a responsible dog owner. The following is an excerpt from my upcoming book, Basset Hound, Your Happy Healthy Pet, to be published this December by Howell Books.
Responsible dog owners:
1. Commit to keeping the dog for its lifetime.
2. Always provide adequate food and water.
3. Provide regular health care, including vaccinations, and grooming.
4. Put identification on their dog. A tag with your name and phone number, a license and a microchip all help ensure your Basset’s return if he gets lost. Dog licenses are usually required by law.
5. Spay or neuter their Basset Hound to prevent overpopulation.
6. Are good neighbors. Confine the dog in a fenced yard, never on a chain, and keep the dog on a leash when out in public. A Basset shouldn’t be allowed to roam the neighborhood, bark annoyingly, or chase the neighbor’s cat or their kids.
7. Train and socialize their dog. A Basset should know basic obedience at the minimum and be able to sit, down, come, and walk nicely on a leash even with the distractions of being out in public. He should know not to jump on people when he greets them, not to paw at people, and of course, he should never put his mouth on people, even in play.
8. Exercise and spend time with their dog.
9. Always clean up after their dog. Keep a baggie in your pocket when you go for walks and keep several in your car. Never leave a pile of waste for someone else to find or worse yet, step in.
10. Have a plan for emergencies or in case of the owner’s death