Owning a dog isn’t quite like being the parent of a child, but it comes with many of the same responsibilities. When your pet gets sick, you have to take him to the vet and incur any costs that come with his treatment. And he looks to you for food, water, and all of his basic needs. You’ll also need to train him and teach him right from wrong, and that means helping him learn how to interact with other dogs and people.
As a neighbor, it’s important to be conscientious about your dog’s behavior to ensure his safety and the safety and comfort of the people around you. Even if you think your dog is well-behaved, it’s possible others might not see it the same way. They may even be dog owners themselves, but if your pet likes to bark or dig holes, your neighbors might not see them as friendly.
Here are a few ways to be a good neighbor and still keep your pet safe and comfortable in his own backyard.
Install a fence:
If your yard doesn’t already have fencing, you can take steps to make sure your dog stays safe and happy when he spends time outside by installing a privacy fence, or just a barrier that will keep him from going into the neighbor’s yard. Nationally, the cost to install a fence ranges from $1,645 to $3,932, according to HomeAdvisor. Despite the price tag, it’s well worth it if it will help your pet mind his manners and stay safely within the boundaries of your property.
Spend time with your dog:
Spending quality time with your pet will help keep his behavior on the level. When dogs don’t get enough attention, sometimes they act out in order to get it, so set aside time in your schedule to snuggle, play, and interact with your dog every day. Bonding with your dog at regular intervals -- not just every now and then -- will help establish your relationship and keep him happy.
Spay or neuter:
Part of being a responsible dog owner is making sure there will be no unwanted puppies, so it’s a good idea to spay or neuter as soon as your dog is of age. Unless you have specific plans to breed your pet, you want to make sure there won’t be any litters of pups coming your way, especially if your neighbor has a dog of the opposite sex.
Keep him healthy:
Keeping your dog healthy is not only what’s best for him, it’s also being considerate to the people around you. Pets can carry ticks and fleas, worms, and bacteria if they’re not kept healthy with regular checkups at the vet, so make sure you take the time to have him looked over every six months.
Train him up:
Even if your dog is well-trained, there are probably some techniques you can go over with him, such as not jumping on visitors, not barking incessantly when in the backyard, and how to be patient. Not only are these things that will help you and your family, they will help your pet learn how to interact with others and keep him calm when he’s outside and within earshot of the neighbors. Look online to find a few tips on training, or start with this site.
Being a conscientious dog owner can mean a lot of things, but it’s important to remember that your pet needs your love and guidance through it all. Help him learn the right ways to behave and offer support and encouragement when he does the right thing. This will help keep him motivated throughout the process.