Congratulations! You’ve adopted a dog! Your life is about to be enriched in ways you’ve never dreamed possible. Take the following pledge to ensure a healthy and happy life for your new friend.
- I pledge to make a reasonable commitment of time and effort, and to affect scheduling and lifestyle changes in order to make this relationship work
- I pledge to make sure my dog is not exposed to the elements of weather without proper shelter, shade cover, dry ground, access to fresh water and at least 1 hour of loving companionship and play a day (I understand this is a minimum and will strive to keep the dog with me as much as possible and treat him/her as an important member of my family)
- I pledge to provide appropriate and timely veterinary care for the life of my dog
- I pledge provide my dog with the proper nutrition for optimum health, and to keep my dog the proper weight, neither obese nor emaciated
- I pledge to keep this dog indoors at night, and to include him/her in the activities of the household while we are home, as much as possible
- I pledge to keep my dog groomed and free of external parasites and matting (particularly behind my dog’s ears, under his elbows, his tail and thighs)
- I pledge to spay or neuter my dog, if he/she is not already
- I pledge to give my do ample aerobic exercise daily, and make sure that at least three times a week he gets to run and play and get tired out
- I pledge to provide my dog with mental stimulation in the form of either play, interactive toys, training, or off territory leash walks, DAILY
- I pledge to provide my dog with enough training and/or behavioral management so as to enable him to be a welcome part of my community, or managed safely
- I pledge to provide my dog ample outlets for his instincts (such as off territory leash walks/running, opportunities to sniff and explore the natural world, agility training, trick training, fun and rewarding obedience training, play with other dogs, etc.), so that he does not feel constantly frustrated, or develop behavioral problems because he is neglected or under stimulated
- I pledge to provide a home in which my dog clearly knows there are certain rules to which I will insist on and he can count on
- I pledge to provide my dog with enough toys to satisfy his urge to chew
- I pledge to get professional help if my dog has or develops behavior or temperament problems, and, if safe, to manage my dog carefully so as not to endanger the people and other pets in my community
- I pledge to do everything I can to keep my dog from becoming a nuisance in my community
- I will not allow him to run free/out of my control, chase cars, bicycles, children, etc.
- I will seek professional help to get my dog to be quiet, or keep him quiet both when I am home and away, so as not to disturb my neighbors
- I pledge to “scoop poop” from my dog when off my property, so that my dog and other dogs will always be welcome in public
- I pledge that if I have to move residences for any reason, I am aware that finding housing that accepts pets can take longer than average, but that I will commit to moving with my dog, as I would move with a member of my family
- I pledge that if, for any reason, I can no longer keep this dog, I will not abandon this dog, and
- I will return the dog to the shelter (if required) or leave ample time to find a new, appropriate home, tell the new owners truthfully all the dog’s behaviors, good and bad, and follow up occasionally to make sure the dog is safe and content
Thanks to Sue Sternburg for this article
Note: And to love and respect your dog as part of your family. I have found, that the more love that’s given to animals, the more they want to please you. Wishing you a happy journey with your new dog because a home without a dog is just a house.