Responsible Dog Ownership Day

Bernese Mountain Dog puppy shaking someone's hand

The American Kennel Club has been celebrating Responsible Dog Ownership days for over 14 years, hosting events and demonstrations, Canine Good Citizen tests and more in an effort to celebrate and educate the public about Responsible Dog Ownership. One of these days is this Saturday, September 17th. One component of AKC’s Responsible Dog Ownership Days is their Pet Promise, a petition started in 2006 and republished in 2013 that you can still sign here, to remind pet owners of the responsibilities they accepted when they adopted a dog. Even if you don’t live within the Unites states, you can still sign the petition if you wish. But more than that, the promises within the petition are universally applicable, regardless of where in the world you live. They are the most important aspects of pet ownership and speak to the raising and training of a healthy and happy pet that is respectful of the rights of others as well as respectful of the rights of the dog. The Pet Promise is below:


As a dog owner, I do solemnly swear:

* I will never overlook my responsibilities for this living being and recognize that my dog’s welfare is totally dependent on me.

* I will always provide fresh water and quality food for my dog.

* I will socialize my dog via exposure to new people, places, and other dogs.

* I will take pride in my dog’s appearance with regular grooming.

* I will recognize the necessity of basic training by teaching my dog to reliably sit, stay and come when called.

* I will take my dog to the vet regularly and keep all vaccinations current.

* I will pick-up and properly dispose of my dog’s waste.

* I will make sure my dog is regarded as an AKC Canine Good Citizen® by being aware of my responsibilities to my neighbors and to the community.

* I will ensure that the proper amount of exercise and mental stimulation appropriate for my dog’s age, breed and energy level is provided.

* I will ensure that my dog has some form of identification (which may include collar tags, tattoo or microchip ID.)

* I will adhere to local leash laws.

So even though this Pet Promise is hosted by the AKC and you may not be able to participate in one of their events, you can still take the principles of the Pet Promise to heart and use them to guide you in the raising and caring of your own dog, regardless of where you may live. The promises we make to our pets and the responsibilities we have towards them are not bound by borders, but rather by a universal, mutual love and respect for animals.