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Tips to keep pets healthy, happy

We give our pups lots of playtime, treats and affection, but what about training? Is your dog permanently identified with a microchip to maximize his chances of being returned to you if he becomes lost? Here are the top 10 ways you can be a responsible dog owner. McClatchy Tribune Newspapers

Playtime rules! Provide the exercise and mental stimulation your pet needs based on his age, breed and energy level. Take him for a walk, throw a ball around or go for a run.

Take care of your dog inside and out with regular grooming, quality food and vet appointments. Keep all vaccinations current.

Microchip your dog and enroll your dog in a pet recovery service. Make sure to keep your contact information updated.

Socialize your pooch via exposure to new people, places and other dogs.

On walks, adhere to local leash laws and scoop the poop.

Teach a reliable "sit," "stay" and "come." Then take the Canine Good Citizen test ( to show that your dog is a well-mannered model citizen.

License your dog and renew the license annually.

Don't tie your dog outside a store or leave it in your car. Pet theft is on the rise nationwide.

Find a job or activity for your dog. Whether it is agility, herding or therapy work, a busy dog is a happy dog.

Put your paw print on the AKC Responsible Dog Owner Pet Promise ( to show that you're a responsible dog owner.

Tips to keep pets healthy, happy 09/03/12 [Last modified: Monday, September 3, 2012 4:30am]
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