Robert Pregulman, who runs the website SeattleDogSpot.com, says you need to make sure your pooch gets enough exercise, is micro-chipped (in case they get lost) and on a leash whenever you leave the house.
"It's critically important for the pet's safety because you never know when it might bolt off into the street," Pregulman says.
And he says there are two other important reasons to always use a leash.
"If your dog runs up to a person who doesn't like dogs, it could scare that person and cause a confrontation. Also, some dogs are on leashes because they don't get along with other dogs and if your dog runs up to one of those it could get into a fight."
Remember, just because you're ga-ga about your dog doesn't mean everyone else is. So, don't force your dog's company on someone who isn't comfortable with dogs.
If you'd like to bring your dog to someone's house when you come for a visit, ask them if it's OK. That’s the courteous and responsible thing to do.
Be a Responsible Dog Owner »
Guidelines for Responsible Pet Ownership »