By Cesar Millan
For a lot of people, their first experience with a pet was probably as a child, and it was an opportunity for their parents to teach them responsibility. It may have been a goldfish or a hamster, or maybe a kitten or a puppy.
It always came with the same conditions: “This is your pet, so you have to take care of it.” That meant feeding it, cleaning the cage or litter box, taking it on walks, and so on.
Of course, more often than not, one of the parents wound up having to do all of those things, because grown-ups are more responsible than children. Or are they?
Most adults are responsible enough to make sure that their dogs have plenty of food and water, and get their shots and license — but there’s a lot more to being a responsible dog owner than that.
I’m always surprised when someone tells me that they rarely walk their dog, and even more surprised by how often I hear it — but the dog walk is the number one responsibility, after ensuring their survival, of course. If you don’t have the time you have to make the time. If you don’t have the physical ability, then you need to invest in a professional dog walker.
I know that sometimes weather can be a factor, especially if it’s very cold or very hot, but if you live in an area with extreme conditions, then you need to find an alternative, such as a treadmill or a dog-friendly indoor mall — and remember that it’s only a temporary alternative.
Dogs need exercise — that’s the first and most important part of my fulfillment formula, remember? — and the walk is the best way to get it. Besides that, it’s an opportunity for you and your dog to bond, and for you to assume the position of Pack Leader.
But our responsibility to our dogs doesn’t end there. Here are five other things you need to do to be a responsible dog owner.
Next to our children, dogs (and cats) are probably the biggest investment we make in terms of time, money, and emotional attachment — and the biggest for people without children. We owe it to them, and to ourselves, to take full responsibility in order to make our too-brief time together happy, safe, and secure for everyone involved, humans and dogs alike.
Stay calm, and be responsible!
At Cesar’s Way, we strive to be a single pack, and packs have rules, boundaries, and limitations. Here are ours for the comments:
Also, please note that because of volume, we are unable to respond to individual comments, although we do watch them in order to learn what issues and questions are most common so that we can produce content that fulfills your needs. You are welcome to share your own dog tips and behavior solutions among yourselves, however. Thank you for reading our articles and sharing your thoughts with the pack!