The Pet Leadership Council (PLC) announced the launch of Be Dog Smart, a new consumer education initiative designed to help people make smart and informed decisions about dog acquisition, whether by way of a professional breeder, shelter or rescue, pet store, friend or family member. The initiative is one core outcome of PLC’s national research project that gauged the public’s current attitude towards the pet care community. Proper education surrounding pet acquisition was identified as an area of importance for consumers.
“Responsible dog acquisition starts with the knowledge to make an informed decision, which is what Be Dog Smart is all about.”
— Bob Vetere, Executive Director, the Pet Leadership Council
“The success of the pet care community rests on consumer trust and confidence, which is why the PLC found it imperative to gain a better understanding of the public’s wants and needs when it comes to companion animals,” said Bob Vetere, executive director of the PLC. “Be Dog Smart supports our mission to do the right thing, and it is a deliberate, strategic initiative to address the top issues of responsible dog acquisition and demonstrate the caring and commitment of those in the pet industry.”
“Whether consumers want to ‘adopt or shop’, they should feel comfortable in their choice, have the right information to make a smart decision and know the dog or puppy they bring into their home has been raised under high standards of care,” said Vetere.
Those looking to add a dog to their household should be properly informed on how to choose their pet, which includes knowing the right questions to ask, regardless of how they acquire their dog. People should be well-positioned to obtain the companion animal they wish to have, with confidence in their knowledge of responsible acquisition and the pet’s health and overall well-being.
At the core of the Be Dog Smart initiative is a user-guided website that offers consumers valuable information before bringing home a new puppy or dog, such as costs to consider, important questions to ask and information on identifying responsible breeders, shelters, rescues and pet stores. The website is an unbiased, resource-rich guide that assists consumers throughout the entire dog acquisition process and into dog ownership.
The Be Dog Smart website was developed in partnership with industry experts from a variety of backgrounds, including those involved in responsible breeding, shelter and rescues, animal welfare, academia and others who work to assure the best care and well-being of companion animals. The website’s sole mission is to create more informed consumers at no financial gain for the PLC. The site is differentiated from other consumer sites because it is not linked to any actual acquisition source–such as a breeder, shelter or store–and as such can remain unbiased.
“Responsible dog acquisition starts with the knowledge to make an informed decision, which is what Be Dog Smart is all about,” said Vetere. “By asking the right questions, researching credible sources and demanding transparency from those who provide companion animals, consumers will not only be taking the right steps when welcoming a new dog into the family, but also will build demand for responsible breeders, retailers and shelters.”