Heartland Dog Club, Inc.

of Florida

(863) 385-7474 or (863) 385-7803

What is a R.D.O.?

Just what does it mean to be a R.D.O.?

Are you a Responsible Dog Owner?


7 steps to being a Responsible Dog Owner

  1) Do You Have Enough Time – owning a a pet requires lots of time an attention. Make sure you have the time and are able to commit to your new friend. You will need to housebreak him/her and train your dog. At the very least, provide basic obedience training. It is very important that all members of the family are committed to caring for the pet.


  2) Choose the Right Dog For Youthere are various factors that go into selecting a dog that suits your lifestyle and your circumstances. One should never buy a dog on impulse. Do your research first.


  3) Make a Vet Appointment – one of the first things you should do to make sure you have a healthy dog is to make an appointment with your veterinarian.

  This is important for several reasons:

  • When you take your dog to the vet, you discover if you bought or adopted a healthy dog or puppy.
  • You can be sure that your dog will not pass on any illness to other dogs or pets.
  • The dog will be current on all vaccinations--very important for a dog's health and yours also.

    Note: Most cities require that all dogs are vaccinated--at least for rabies.

4. Provide Food and Water – feed your dog a healthy dog food for a well balanced diet.

Provide fresh water at all times.  Educate yourself about the qualities of good food. Not all dog food is made the same.  Make an informed choice about your dog's diet.


5. Confinement – be a responsible dog owner and keep your dog confined, not tied up or locked up. Do not let your dog wander around the neighborhood. It is a nuisance and can be dangerous for others as well as for your pet.  Almost every city has some sort of leash law. Keep your dog leashed when you are out walking.

6. Spay or Neuter – most people want dogs as companions and pets. If you do not intend to breed your dog, please consider having your dog spayed or neutered. This helps to prevent unwanted pregnancies and reduces the number or unwanted and abandoned dogs in shelters and rescues.


7. Do The Right Thing – when the time comes.  At the end of your dog’s days, you may find yourself in the difficult situation where there is nothing else that can be done. It is at this time when being a responsible dog owner can be the hardest. You need to make the personal choice about whether to ease the suffering and say goodbye.

Being a responsible dog owner is not something that should be taken lightly. It is a full time, long-term commitment. It means that you are responsible for your dog’s health, care, attention, and love until the time you must made a decision. Just know that your dog will love you unconditionally and without judgment for many years IF you are a Responsible Dog Owner.