Do you know what a responsible pet owner is? Are you doing everything you can to be a responsible Yorkie owner? Here is a list of things a responsible pet owner does.
February is National Responsible Pet Owners Month. The purpose of this month is to honor those who are responsible pet owners and to call attention to what being a responsible pet owner means. So, what does a responsible pet owner do? There are many, many facets to being a responsible pet owner, but we want to share with you the basics of responsible pet ownership.
Knowledge of the breed
A basic knowledge of Yorkies is important for any Yorkie owner. You should research common health concerns, diet and exercise requirements, special concerns, and personality traits. This will help you prepare for whatever comes your way as a Yorkie owner. Preferably, you should do this research before adding a Yorkie to your family.
Have a regular veterinarian
It is extremely important to have a regular veterinarian. A responsible pet owner knows exactly who to call in case of an emergency and has a veterinarian who already has a history with their pet. If you are moving or have to change vets, get copies of health records to take with you.
Spay or Neuter your Yorkie
I can’t stress this enough. A responsible Yorkie owner will have their Yorkie spayed or neutered. We have already written a post on this subject, so if you’d like to learn more, please read our post: To Spay or Not to Spay.
Regular veterinary care
It is important to have regular veterinary care. Preventative care should be a top priority for all Yorkie owners. Regular care can help prevent catastrophic illnesses and can keep your Yorkie healthy and happy for many years to come.
A responsible pet owner takes diet and nutrition into consideration. There are many opinions on the subject, but it’s important to select a food that meets the AAFCO guidelines for “complete and balanced” nutrition. We have spent a lot of time so far on our blog discussing the best foods for your Yorkie. You can take a look at our food reviews here: Posts Tagged ‘yorkie food reviews’
All dogs require fresh air an exercise. Each Yorkie is different and their exercise requirements depend on age and health, so it’s important that you discuss with your vet the proper amount of exercise for your Yorkie. Consider playtime, walks, training, and other activities. Yorkies need both physical and mental exercise, so be sure that you are engaging your Yorkie’s body and mind.
A responsible Yorkie owner takes time to train their Yorkie. It’s not necessary for your Yorkie to be trained to the point of earning awards at an AKC Obedience trial, but your Yorkie should listen to you and be properly trained to walk on a leash, be properly house trained, and know how to act around new people and pets.
A clean environment
Responsible dog owners make sure their dog’s environment is clean. Your home should be clean, your Yorkie’s crate (if you use one) should be clean, and accidents should be cleaned up immediately.
A safe environment
Your home should be a safe place for your Yorkie. Concerns and “Yorkie-proofing” will vary, but, if your Yorkie likes to chew or you have a puppy, for example, all electric wires should be out of reach. “Dangerous” areas should be blocked with baby gates, and places your Yorkie can go should be easily accessible. Consider furniture stairs to reduce the risk of injury if your Yorkie likes to climb up on your bed, for example.
Also consider the safety of other environments your Yorkie may enter. For example, if you take your Yorkie to the groomer, be certain your Yorkie is separated from larger dogs. At the vet, keep your Yorkie on a leash or in your arms, and never, never, leave your Yorkie alone in a car.
Proper grooming is an essential responsibility for all Yorkie owners. Hair needs to be kept clean and free of mats, nails need to be kept trimmed, hair must be kept out of the eyes, teeth need to be cleaned, and ears need to be cleaned. You can read our article about grooming here for more information: Grooming Your Yorkie
Proper identification / microchip
You never know if or when you will need it, but a responsible pet owner will have their Yorkie micro-chipped and wearing an id collar. An id collar is a quick way for a regular person on the street to get your contact information if your Yorkie is ever lost. The microchip is a permanent back-up that can be used to reunite you and your Yorkie if your Yorkie is ever lost and not wearing an id collar.