Responsible Dog Ownership

Having a dog is more than providing a yard rope, food and water. Responsible dog ownership is a big responsibility.

Considerations Before Committing

Owning a dog is a serious long-term commitment. Depending on the breed you can expect to have your dog between 10 and 16 years. You will need to commit financial resources to supplies and regular care, as well as unexpected care. Your new dog will also require a significant amount of your time and energy to keep them happy and healthy.

Consider basics like:

  • Will the dog you are considering be compatible with your family?
  • Is there enough room for them in your environment?
  • Is there a safe outdoor space for them to play?
  • Do you have time, energy, and desire to walk them everyday?
  • What will you do with them when you go on vacation?
  • What will you do with them while you are at work?
  • Will you kennel your dog at night and when you are away?

Before You Bring the Dog Home

Learn all of your applicable local laws. What are you local laws about tags, vaccinations, leashes, cleaning up what they leave behind, and noise ordinances?

Make sure your yard is safe and secure. Check for any noxious plants that will be problematic for your new dog. Check the fence line to make sure it is secure and in tact to keep your dog from running off to explore.

Contact your local veterinarian about an initial check up, vaccinations, and microchip (if you want one). Get the costing and set up the initial appointment. With a new dog it may be beneficial to find a mobile vet who will visit your home to help with all of these things.

When Your Dog Comes Home

Introduce your dog to their new surroundings. Show them their yard, doghouse, food and water bowls, and bedding.

Set up your training classes to help you with basic training and any advanced training.

Spend time with your dog. Dogs need and strongly desire attention and assurance that they fit in and belong in a family unit. They will express multiple objectionable behaviors when they feel neglected.

Work your dog into a routine. Have a regular time for walks, feeding, outdoor time, kennel time, and so forth.


Having a family dog is extremely rewarding. However, bringing a dog into your family requires preparation, on-going effort, and a commitment to your dog’s health and wellbeing. A mobile veterinarian can come to your home and help with vaccinations, health checkups, an environmental review, and behavioral issues. In the Salem, Oregon area you can always rely on Rolling Vet Animal Care or (503) 400-7992.

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