Another excellent guest post from Cindy Aldridge of OurDogsFriends.org

As a dog owner, a great way to foster good relations with your neighbors is by being responsible for your dog’s behavior. It is your responsibility to ensure that your dog does not irritate or inconvenience your neighbors in any way. Below are six tips on how to be a responsible dog owner in your neighborhood.

Install a fence to keep your dog out of the neighbor’s yard

Some of the most common complaints you are likely to receive in regard to your dog include your dog trespassing on your neighbor’s property. The surest way to prevent such incidences is by installing a fence to keep your dog out of your neighbor’s yard. According to ImproveNet, you can install a fence for a national average cost of $2,400, depending on which material you choose to use (wood, vinyl, aluminum, wrought iron, or metal). Be sure to check into your neighborhood’s rules and regulations on fences before having one installed.

Take responsibility for your dog’s misbehavior

 If your dog misbehaves or acts in an offending way to another person or another dog, take responsibility for it. For instance, if he jumps on or barks at someone, immediately command your dog to stop and sit, and apologize to the person. In case your canine causes harm or damages, be sure to cover the costs. And always clean up after your dog.

Teach your dog good behavior

 First, train your dog to obey basic commands such as stay, sit, come and stop. Train your dog to stay calm when encountering people or visitors. Consider hiring a professional obedience trainer. A 90-minute dog-training session can cost you around $225.

Minimize barking and howling

By their nature, all dogs bark from time to time. Your dog becomes a nuisance if he or she barks or howls a lot and at odd hours such as early morning or in the middle of the night.

It is not uncommon for your dog to be silent when you are home and bark endlessly when you are away. Therefore, if your neighbors complain about your dog barking when you are away, take time to investigate and implement the necessary measures to prevent your pet from barking uncontrollably. One way to control excessive barking is to keep Fido healthy and happy.

Keep your dog happy and healthy

 A happy and healthy dog is more likely to be well-behaved. Keep your dog well-fed, safe and comfortable. Maintain a clean home environment for you and your dog. Remove any elements of danger and discomfort in your home. For example, you should keep an eye on your HVAC system to maintain a safe temperature for your pet.

Provide your pup with adequate stimulation by taking him for walks, providing adequate playtime and providing appropriate toys.  Adhere to a regular feeding, playtime and sleeping schedule. Stay up to date on vaccinations. In case your dog shows symptoms of illness, book an appointment with the veterinarian immediately.  The average cost nationally for a visit to the vet ranges from $45-55, but costs vary depending on where you live.

Tag and leash your dog

Most states require dog owners to put a tag on their dog. Should your dog get lost, it will be easy for neighbors to identify your pet and bring him back to you. When walking in public areas, hold your dog’s leash closely. Only take off his leash when in your fenced-in yard or off-leash areas.

As a conscientious dog owner, it is your responsibility to make sure that your dog is not only healthy and happy but also that he is interacting well with the community. Being a conscientious dog owner makes you a good neighbor.

Photo Credit: UnSplash