SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The month of September has been designated as a time to promote responsible dog ownership, a topic KCBS’ Jeff Bell talks to Dr. Jack Aldridge, Director of Veterinary Services at The San Francisco SPCA about.

Events are being held across the country to promote microchipping, spaying and neutering and dog health. Dr. Aldridge said it’s also a great time to educate yourself about what it means to be a responsible dog owner as well as promote responsible dog ownership throughout your community.

And what are some of the steps to being a responsible dog owner? Aldridge said first, you have to make sure your dog is spayed or neutered, which prevents pet overpopulation. Pet overpopulation leads to thousands of animals in shelters and it also keeps your dog healthier by reducing the risk of cancer.

Next, you should ensure that your dog is licensed and microchipped so that if he’s lost, there’s a better chance he’ll be returned to you.

It’s also important to keep your dog up-to-date on vaccines and to visit your veterinarian for regular checkups.

Finally, don’t ever purchase puppies on the Internet since many of those dogs are from puppy mills. Instead, adopt locally from a shelter.

Dr. Aldridge said there are some other steps owners can take when trying to protect their dogs. They include watching out for accidental poisonings from human medications, household cleansers or food items which are dangerous to dogs, watching your dog’s leash, picking up after your dog while you’re walking and to not forget above love and attention as dogs normally thrive with human contact. Dr. Aldridge said the responsible owner provides plenty of both.

Animal Update airs on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM on Sundays at 1:35 p.m., 3:35 p.m., and 9:21 p.m.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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