We at Memorial Crossing Pet Resort want to give you some ways you can make sure you’re being a great doggy owner. You love your fur baby, but sometimes we all need reminders on how to give our dog the very best and keep him happy and healthy.

1. Follow local dog laws.
Check your city’s laws to make sure you are compliant. Many areas have leash laws and require you to register your pet. Besides avoiding fines by doing this, you’re helping your city stay safe and responsible by complying.

2. Visit your vet regularly.
Annual visits to your veterinarian are important to keep your dog properly vaccinated and to make sure he is in optimum health. Prevention is key so you can catch potential problems before they are too serious. You also want to keep your pets spayed or neutered.

3. Feed your dog a proper diet.
Check with your veterinarian to make sure the dog food you are feeding contains good ingredients and provides enough nutrition to keep your pup healthy. You will also want to make sure you are feeding the right amount for his size and lifestyle. Additionally, don’t give too many treats. Obesity in pets is a serious health problem and is very hard on your dog’s bones and joints.

4. Socialize your pet.
Playing with other dogs and taking basic obedience classes is a great way to socialize a puppy. Even older dogs need to have some socialization so they can interact with other dogs and people safely. Plus, if you are a one-dog household, it will be fun for him and provide positive stimulation.

5. Groom your pet.
Not all dogs need regular haircuts but regular baths, nail trims and teeth brushing are good for your pet. Ask your vet about a good shampoo to use and make it a positive experience for your pet.

6. Give your dog plenty of exercise.
All pups need daily exercise to live happy, healthy lives. Some breeds require more than others but, minimally, you should take your dog on a daily walk and provide some play time. If it’s too cold to spend time outdoors, there are several activities you can do indoors such as working on learning new commands and tricks or making him work to get a treat by using special treat-dispensing toys.

7. Train your dog.
All dogs should have some basic training to teach manners – sit, stay, off, but dogs are very trainable and can learn many more commands. Some dogs are naturals at agility training and others will enjoy learning unique tricks.

8. Pick up after your dog and properly dispose of his waste.
Pet waste should be picked up to preserve the environment but, more important, doing so prevents illness or worms.

9. Properly ID your dog
You should have ID tags on your dog’s collar, and you should have him microchipped. This ensures that someone can help him get back to you if he ever gets lost or escapes. Check with your local vet to find out how to get a microchip and then once it’s done, be sure to register it.