If you’re not a wicked person, you’ve probably considered getting a dog. I didn’t say pet o. Dog. Those animals are so adorable, loyal and harmless, everyone should have one. Yes, they’re harmless. If a dog has ever attacked you, it’s because you went somewhere to steal, full stop. 

But if you do own a dog, you should take care of it like it’s your child. No, seriously, the vet will register it with your surname. My first dog ever, a beautiful purebred German Shepherd, was named Rocket Odunlami. 

Now, I need a break to cry about losing Rocket after she had her babies. It’s been 12 years, and I still haven’t recovered. 

If you have a dog, or are thinking about getting one, these are the things you absolutely must do to be a responsible owner.


You can’t just wake up and walk into a store to buy a dog. Is everything okay at home? (I mean this both literally and as an insult). You need to know if it’s the right time for you to get a dog. Are your finances stable, or are you still fighting sapa? Maintaining dogs is expensive o. 

Also, what breed are you getting? Some breeds need space to run around, and you want to get one in your Lagos apartment where two people can’t lie down at the same time? Please, come off it. 

Feed your dog well

“A healthy dog is a happy dawg”, or whatever Wole Soyinka said. Why is your dog’s main source of feeding leftovers from parties? Is that what you eat? Can you give your child leftovers to eat? 

I cannot lie, this tweet made me laugh. But no, garri is not dog food. 

Asides From Dog Food, Here Are Other Things You Can Feed Your Dog

Register your dog at a vet

You, you have HMO, but you don’t want to register your dog at a vet. Does that make sense? Don’t you know your dog can fall sick? Or that it needs regular checkups, vaccinations and vitamins? Let’s be responsible going forward, please. 

Train your dog

Train a dog in the way it should go. You don’t even have to teach it tricks. Just regular communication training is very important for your relationship with your dog.

Also read: 16 Hilarious Dog Memes You’ll Completely Relate To

Also, potty train your dog

Especially if you live in a shared space. You need to train your dog to know where to use the bathroom. Imagine your neighbour has a bad day, and as they walk inside the compound, they step on dog shit. They should fight you, for real. Oh, and if your dog poops somewhere it’s not meant to, pick up after it. 

Groom your dog

This involves regular baths, clipping nails, brushing teeth and cutting hair. Don’t let your dog turn to Ojuju Calabar before your own eyes, please. 

Don’t let it harm people

Protect your dog and people around you by avoiding situations where your dog attacks innocent people.  Use a harness and be observant. Imagine you’re going on a walk with your partner and a random dog attacks you guys. You go like am?

Love your dog

Dogs need care and attention. You need to spend time with them, taking care of them. Let them socialise and make other dog friends too. 

Don’t bring harm to your dog

Don’t beat or maltreat your dog. Don’t abandon them. Don’t put them in tiny cages. Just don’t be a dick, okay?

Lastly, give your dog a Nigerian name

We can’t still be naming our dogs Jack or Jill. It’s giving neocolonialism. What happened to Odinaka? Or the Igbo name, Maximum Protection.

You’ll also like: 7 Things No One Tells You About Owning a Dog


Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.