You pick up more than just poop
Picking up your dog’s poop is Good Doggie Care 101 but truly great pet owners will be mindful of any mess their animal makes and clean up after them, says Ruth MacPete, veterinarian and author of Lisette the Vet. This means not only cleaning up poop piles from the neighbour’s lawn but wiping up pee, drool or other liquids in public places; picking up the pieces when your dog shreds a toy; and making amends if your pup chews someone’s shoe, pees on a rug or otherwise makes a mess.
You follow the rules even if you think they’re silly
Some public places don’t allow pets and great pet owners will obey the posted signs, even if you’re 100 percent sure your Good Boy would be just fine, Dr. MacPete says. “If a business only allows service animals, be respectful and leave your canine companion at home,” she says.
You do a daily “snout-to-tail” check
Great pet owners care deeply about their dog’s wellbeing and spend a few minutes each day giving them a once-over, says Neil Cohen, dog behaviour expert, owner and head trainer at Sit Means Sit. “By touching your dog, from snout to tail (and everywhere in between) you not only teach a dog to accept your touch, should they need it in an emergency, but you also familiarise yourself with their body, enabling you to quickly notice anything that wasn’t there yesterday – like a tick, cut, tumour, etc.,” he explains.