The 'Perfect Pet Parent' course

Elizabeth Alderton ADipCBM.

 This course is accredited by the International Society of Animal Professionals.

What is Responsible Ownership ?

Everyone talks about ‘Responsible Ownership,’ but what exactly does it mean? This simple 'Perfect Pet Parent' course - will give you all the key information and practical advice to be a responsible Pet Parent.  

Getting a Dog 

Before choosing a dog, be honest, discuss and decide what would suit your lifestyle, your circumstances.  This  is essential in order for  your dog  to live a happy life.  Study the suitable Types of Dog and choose the right dog for your family circumstances.  Responsible ownership starts with sourcing your dog; it is firstly and strongly recommended that you adopt from a rescue shelter or your local SPCA. However if you feel you must get a dog from a breeder, it is important to understand the enormous risks.  Please be very careful if you are considering a breeder, and above all avoid puppy farms.  

Answers to test questions 1,2,3 and 4 are found in the above module.

Initial Costs

Being a responsible dog owner can be an expensive business. There are different types of cost to consider, such as the initial or set-up cost which includes buying the dog. However there are more things to think about, such as which type of bedding to use and what type of  fencing  is best for your dog's safety.

Answer to test question  5 is found in the above module.

Running Costs

Keeping a dog involves daily, weekly, monthly, and annual costs. These include dog food, vet bills – and a few more! 

Ah – there’s another ‘cost’ …… TIME!!!

Share the daily chores and joys of owning a dog.  Establish a family agreement to cover 'who will do what' AND write it down, BEFORE you get your dog .  Read the 'CostTime' chart, print it, fill it in and place it on the wall for all the family to see.  

 Also Remember how well-Informed decisions when choosing which dog food to use will keep your costs down!  Cheap foods can mean more vet visits, so choose your dog food responsibly.  

Answers to test questions 6 and 7 are found in the above module.

Additional Costs

Your lifestyle and the type of dog you select will make a big difference to your costs.  Consider factors such as grooming needs, holidays & dog day care and of course …. there are always the unexpected events…

Answer to test question 8 is found in the above module.

A Dog’s Needs and Training

These change throughout your dog’s life.  A puppy needs entertainment and company, whilst an older dog may require more veterinary care. Your dog needs space to live, clean and dry bedding which should be changed every week or more often if it is wet or soiled. 

What if your dog gets sick?  How can you tell?  Should your dog visit the vet only when it becomes ill?   How often should you play with your dog and what are the good games to play?   Your dog needs fresh water, and the correct quality and quantity of food.  Be clear about nutrition. Your dog needs affection and love from you, its new  family. Your dog needs exercise; minimum of ¼ of an acre for a Spaniel and upward in size, half that for a terrier / Chihuahua. Dogs need to run around, go out for walks, and if possible to run free. 

For all of the above, they will need TRAINING and you will need help to achieve this.

Long haired dogs need grooming.  Choose a good groomer.   All dogs need their claws checked and clipped about every 6 weeks.  

Answers to test questions 9,10,11 and 12 are found in the above module.

Training your Dog

A well-trained dog will always have a better understanding of its owner and its family, be a much happier pet and will have more freedom.  It is essential that you train your dog and get help to do so.  When should you start?  Before you get your dog/puppy contact a canine professional for advice. As soon as you get your dog or puppy start training immediately with your chosen trainer.

Training is much more than teaching your dog to sit and be quiet. You will understand and learn how to manage destructive or overly excited behaviour.  In fact, you must personally do the training; the Canine Training Instructor teaches the owner rather than the dog!  Take special care in choosing a dog trainer.  

Answer to test question 13 is found in the above module.

Safety, Security & Responsibility

You are responsible to make sure that your dog is secure on your property.  Why?  Your dog could kill farm animals or cause an accident if running free.  If someone enters your property, they could steal your dog.  Keep your dog safe, and other people happy.  What are your social & legal obligations to others? 

                           Find the answer to question 14.

Your dog wants ....... the Five Freedoms

Also ensure that your dog always enjoys the Five Freedoms throughout its life.

                           Find the answer to question 15.

Reproduced with kind permission of Anna Markovina

 Exam and Certification

After completing this basic course, you may wish to click the following link to the exam for the Certificate of Commitment to Responsible Ownership’ .

This certificate will be extremely helpful if you intend approaching a rescue shelter to adopt a dog. Certification shows that you have gone the extra mile to establish a Forever Home built on friendship and empathy.