Choosing To Be A Responsible Dog Owner

One of the many great things about living at Camden is that we love and welcome pets into our communities. If you’re a dog owner, you can relate to the fact that our dogs are family, too, and having a home where your dogs are welcomed is highly important to you.

By bringing your dog to live with you, you’re also promising to be the responsible dog owner that you, your dog, and your neighbors need you to be. However, there’s no promise that you won’t come across challenges.

Here are a few tips on maintaining a safe environment for your dog and those around you.

First, the basics. All Camden communities will require that you provide current vaccinations records and a photo of your dog on file. You’ll also need to sign a pet addendum portion of your lease promising to keep your dog on a leash at all times when outside of your apartment home, agreeing to pick up after and dispose of waste properly, and many other necessary things.

But what do you do when your dog is disturbing neighbors when you’re away from home or having a hard time adjusting to the apartment life? Let’s look at a few tips you can start trying today.

Is your dog a barker? Maybe you’ve received a complaint or two that your dog barks on a consistent basis. Nobody wants their fur babies to be a problem between their neighbors. I know firsthand that it can be stressful. So here are a few tips that have worked for me:

  • Purchase a pet gate to keep your dog away from the front door. This personally helped me as one of my dogs likes to bark at anyone who’s trying to walk past the front door. I believe she’s just waiting for my husband and I to come home but likes to think she’s protecting her home. I’ve conditioned my dogs to know they’ll receive a treat once they enter the gated area of our apartment.
  • PetGatePurchase a kennel. Although kennels are not for every dog, they can be helpful to keep your dog calm while you’re away. It also allows your Camden maintenance team to enter at any time to take care of any work orders you submit.
  • Leave the TV or radio on for your pet. Ensure the volume is not loud enough to distract neighbors, but good enough to give your dog something to listen to while you’re gone. Sometimes, dogs just like to bark at the slightest of noise they hear.
  • Ensure your dog is healthy. Proper nutrition is important to your dog’s behavior. Ensure you feed them routinely so that you’re not leaving your dog at home thirsty or hungry. If they’re not content, they’re sure to let all your neighbors know. Read my fellow Camden blogger’s blog on ways to stay on top of your pet’s health with activity trackers for your pet.

Does your dog walk youOh, can it be embarrassing to be walked by your dog! I have two large pets myself, and I’ve learned that if a squirrel is in sight, I don’t stand a chance of holding them back. If you have this issue, try the following:

  • Purchase a training collar or harness. This will give you more control of your dog when walking. I don’t have to worry about squirrels any longer so believe me: these do wonders!

  • Ensure your pet is getting enough exercise. If they consistently pull you during their walk, it could be because they’re not used to getting out as much. Their excitement exceeds your power to control them. More routine walks have helped my dogs calm down because they know they’re going to get another chance to get out of the apartment very soon.
  • And if your Camden community has a pet park or your local park is close by, utilize them. According to TheWholeDogJournal.com, training your dog to listen off their leash will help their behavior in new environments. Without a leash, much enthusiasm will gleam off your dog’s paws as they soar through an open space. As Mel Gibson did in Braveheart, your pup will be yelling “freeeddoooom!”

Does your dog barks at other dogs/neighbors? I think we’d all like to believe that our dogs are the friendliest dogs in all the land. I mean, just ask me. My fur babies are full of love and can do no wrong. But I still take precaution when I’m walking them around strangers and other pets in my community. You can’t assume that everyone’s pet is friendly, and even sometimes your own dog will surprise you with their behavior. Try to:

  • Socialize your dog: Don’t wait for something to happen. If you’ve got a friend who has a dog, try setting up a date to see if they’ll get along. Slowly create interactions with other humans and dogs to socialize your dog so that you can take him/her out in public confidently. Not only are you creating a safer environment for your pet, but for the neighbors in your community. Eventually, you can take your dog to your Camden community’s dog park or to a local dog park and expand your dog’s interactions.
  • Try a head halter during your walks. This a painless way for you to close your dog’s mouth if they happen to start barking. Read more on Cesar Millan’s site to understanding dog barking a little more.
  • Distract them; turn the opposite way from whatever your dog may be barking at and steer their attention elsewhere.

Remember, having a dog could be up to a 15-year commitment, and sometimes a bit longer. You don’t just one day decide to give them up because it’s too hard to take care of one. Have no regrets; give your fur baby the life he/she deserves. The payoff is well worth all the hard work. So choose to be a responsible pet owner and ensure you’re doing your best for your pet, yourself, and your neighbors.

What are some helpful tips that you think other fellow dog owners can benefit from? Share them with us below!

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