Tips for Responsible Dog Ownership

Discover Stouffville Blog

Many own dogs today and we ask do you consider yourself a responsible dog owner? If you don’t own a dog and thinking of getting one, we want you to be aware of all the areas of responsibility there are when you are a dog parent 

We at Muttz with Mannerz™ know that owning and caring for a dog is a very big responsibility. Here are some tips on being a responsible dog owner.

Do Your Homework

If you are currently considering getting a dog, there is so much to think about and know. Ask yourself these questions:

Think about Your lifestyle:

  • What is your activity level – are you a homebody or someone very active and outdoors a lot and want your dog by your side?
  • How often are you away? Do you travel? Do you work outside of the house or at home?
  • How social are you? Who will be in contact with your dog: friends, family? What ages are they; (children, adults, or seniors), and how comfortable are they with dogs?

The environment your new dog will live in:

  • Do you live in town or in the country? Busy with cars, activity or quiet and calm?
  • Do you live in a condo or apartment that has elevators or stairs?
  • Do you live in a house, townhouse? Is there a backyard that is open or fenced in?
  • Are you someone that likes everything neat and tidy or are you okay with some mess? Dogs have accidents and sometimes can chew.
  • Do you have other pets your dog will have as a playmate?

Dogs come in all different sizes, and energy levels, choosing the dog you want will also require research about the characteristics of the individual breeds. Don’t get a dog on impulse as it’s a big decision. Find the right dog that fits your family, lifestyle, and environment. If you do the upfront work, adding a dog will go so much smoother, and they will stay with you for your life. If you need help on picking a dog, we can ihelp and even ntroduce you to many different dogs at our Canine Academy.

Know your investment

Being a responsible pet owner involves investing both time and money into your pet.


A dog needs to be walked, fed, go to the vets, playtime, training and regular brushing and grooming. All of these things take time.


Owning a dog involves many things that cost money. This includes regular day-to-day expenses would be for items such as: food, treats, toys, crates, collars, leashes, seat belts, grooming equipment, and some of you may even want clothing for them. Dogs need medical care too such as vaccinations and other medical expenses, plus professional grooming, yearly licenses and tags, training classes, and daycare or kenneling costs.

Depending on your dog and the breed you choose these investments can be time consuming and expensive but a necessity to ensure you provide them a wonderful home for life.

What Pet Owner do for Their Dog

Part of our passion for pups at Muttz with Mannerz™ is to assist you as a dog owner to provide the best environment for your dog. Our role is to educate dog owners on some important things your pet needs to thrive and survive in your family. Here are a few things we feel a responsible owner should do for their dog:

Socialize and train them

A great way to build a bond and gain trust is to socialize your dog and train them. These are both very important to the health and happiness of your dog. For more information on socialization visit our blog or listen to our podcast episode on socialization here. We at Muttz with Mannerz™ offer a variety of training opportunities for your dog as well – visit our website for class description and our current schedule

Basic everyday care

Your dog will need you every day for all its basic needs such as: food & water, shelter, attention and exercise, and regular grooming (including nail trims).

Medical Care

When you first get your dog it’s important to have them visit the Vet. Before you bring them home find a vet you and your dog are comfortable with and can trust. Many people go the route of traditional medicine but be aware that there are other options such as holistic vets that can potentially offer solutions for you.

Regular vaccinations and parasite control are important to not only keep your dog healthy but are usually required to abide by local bylaws.

Consider what you will do if your dog gets hurt or ill and will need first aid. Have some first aid knowledge yourself or have your vet or an emergency vet’s number handy so that you can contact them immediately.

Should you get pet insurance? Unexpected veterinarian costs can add up to thousands of dollars. There are a number of options available to explore for more information visit our blog on Pet Insurance.

Prepare for vacation time, and emergencies

What happens when you need to leave your dog alone for an extended time or you are going away? Who will care for your dog properly? It could be for a short time, such as your dog needing a walk or potty break when you are at work, wedding or for longer-term such as if you are going on a well-deserved vacation and your dog is unable to come.

There are many solutions for short-term help like a neighbour, a dog walker, or daycare. If you are going away for a longer period of time, you’ll need to find a reliable boarding facilities, a trusted family member or friend, or maybe a live-in pet sitter. Make sure any of these options are trusted, trained, and experienced so you have peace of mind while you are away. 

What the Law Requires

Wherever you live it is your responsibility as a dog owner to know and understand the legal requirements in your jurisdiction to own and care for your dog. What this may include is things like licensing, rabies vaccinations, off-leash rules, and poop and scoop. In addition, there is likely an act covering the standard of care for your pet (food, shelter, and care). As an example, the government of Ontario has the OSPCA Standards of Care Act, which outlines in detail the minimum requirements of a dog owner for their pet to keep them healthy, happy, and safe.

Help Control Pet Population

There are so many dogs in this world and we encourage you to help with pet population.Please have your dog spayed or neutered. By doing this you will be doing your part to prevent the birth of unwanted puppies in the world and spaying and neutering is also good for your dog’s health over its lifetime. By making this effort and promoting spaying and neutering in your community, you do your part in making sure that every dog gets a good home.


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