Responsible Ownership

The loving care you give to your dog will be returned many times over. A healthy, well cared for dog will also live a long and happy life. COLA recommends the following guidelines for good dog ownership.

    • Choose the best breed for you, your family and your lifestyle.
    • Visit local shelters to select a loving pet for your household.
    • Vaccinate your dog against rabies, distemper and other diseases.
    • Spay or neuter your dog.
    • Don't leave your pet in a car on a warm day. A car heats like an oven and can be deadly to your pet.
    • Provide adequate shelter if you leave your dog outside for extended periods of time.
    • Learn basic animal first aid.
    • Take your pet for periodic checkups at the veterinarian.
    • Exercise your dog (especially at off-leash areas).
    • Teach your dog simple obedience skills and basic dog etiquette.
    • Observe local leash laws.
    • Clean up after your dog.
    • Prevent your dog from barking that disturbs others.
    • License your dog.
    • Provide a tag for your pet which has his name, address and phone number.
    • Have a microchip implanted in your pet, and have it registered. If he's lost, it will help to ensure his safe return.
    • Closely supervise your dog when he is around children or in a public place.
    • Good nutrition and fresh water every day are important to keep your pet healthy.