September is Responsible Dog Ownership Month! It was created by the AKC to raise awareness among dog owners. At Rescue Ranch, we agree that taking responsibility for a dog’s life is about more than just food and shelter, but we also know it isn’t always easy. That’s why we support owners with community programs and actionable information. Below are just some of our recommendations for keeping your dog healthy and safe.
Vaccinate and Protect
Vaccination protects your dog and those they come into contact with.
- Rabies: required by law and must be administered by a vet.
- Parvo virus and distemper: highly contagious and deadly. Puppies are particularly susceptible, but both viruses are life-threatening for dogs of all ages, including young healthy adults. Even mild cases will shed the virus and put others at risk.
- Bordetella: protects against kennel cough, which can be severe. Most boarding facilities require it.
Rescue Ranch offers low-cost parvo-distemper and Bordetella vaccinations. Local vets also often organize affordable rabies vaccination clinics. Ask rescues in your area about low-cost options.
Microchips Save Lives
A microchip is a permanent ID that more than doubles your chances of finding your lost pet.
Rescue Ranch offers low-cost dog microchipping at the Adoption Center in Yreka. Consult your vet, or ask rescues in your area about low-cost options.
RRAAP: Be Part of the Solution – Spay/Neuter
We understand that spay/neuter can be expensive and difficult to access. That’s why we created the Rescue Ranch Alter Assistance Program. RRAAP secures reasonably priced appointments and provides free transportation. If cost is an issue, Rescue Ranch might be able to help with that too.
If you don’t live in Siskiyou County, ask rescues in your area about low-cost options.
Socialization and Good Citizenship Training
Socialization is critical to your dog’s psychological development and well-being. A well-socialized dog is confident and even-tempered, which keeps everyone safer and happier. Although it is most effective with puppies and adolescents, even older dogs can improve their social skills.
Rescue Ranch offers free weekly socialization classes.
Teaching dogs how to behave in society also keeps them safe and happy. It’s more constructive than blaming them for not knowing proper etiquette or for being reactive. The AKC Canine Good Citizen™ is a good benchmark.
Crate training is useful any time you need to temporarily isolate your dog. It can also help with potty training and save your dog’s life in an emergency. Remember, training should be fun. Make the crate your dog’s “safe place,” and never use it as punishment.
Emergencies are stressful, but you’ll do better if you’re prepared. Make sure your dog has a go-bag and include them in your emergency plan.
Plan for Your Dog’s Future
Responsible dog ownership also includes planning for your dog’s future should you become incapacitated or are no longer available to care for them.