September is the AKC’s Responsible Dog Ownership Month. Those of us who own dogs know they love us unconditionally, and never fail to make us smile. That’s why the AKC has dedicated a whole month to celebrating our four-legged companions. This month is all about your dog and educating the public on the responsibilities of being a dog owner. Here are five simple ways you can participate:

Pick up after your dog

Disposing of your dogs waste properly is respectful to those around you and promotes good health. Parasites like roundworms and hookworms can live in the soil for long periods of time and can be transmitted other animals and humans. Also, keep in mind in many areas it is against the law to not pick up after your pet.

Keep your dog away from hazards.

When your best friend is playing outside check for things like exposed electrical wires or cords, holes in fences, and smaller rodents they may chase after.

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Keep your dog leashed in public at all times

Even though your dog is friendly, not all encounters with other dogs are going to be friendly.

Respect local laws

Obey local laws in your areas. Failure to abide by pet laws can lead to expensive fines and even worse, the possibility of your dog getting taken away.

Respect neighbors

Do not let your dog on your neighbors yard without permission, and be mindful of your dogs barking habits.

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