For most of us, our pets are part of our families. This means they should be cared for and treated like a beloved member of the family. There are many ways you can step up to the plate and become a responsible pet owner. Did you know that February is Responsible Pet Owner’s Month?
If you haven’t already, get your pet “fixed”. Have your female pets spayed and your male pets neutered. Not only will you be helping control the world’s animal population, but you will ensure a better quality of life for your little family members. Plus, by fixing your pets, you are inadvertently ensuring that more homeless animals will not be euthanized.
Attend obedience classes with your dog. At the very least, make sure all your pets are trained and well-behaved. This includes cats, and even smaller animal companions. If they have behavior problems, do what you can to figure out the problem and fix it. A happy, well-behaved pet makes for a happy family–and happy neighbors.
Keep your pets vaccinated. After the initial veterinary visits, you should take each animal to the vet annually for wellness exams and for their yearly vaccinations. This is especially important if your pet is able to venture outdoors and socialize with other animals. Also: February is not just Responsible Pet Owner’s Month; it is also National Pet Dental Health Month. Ask the vet how you can ensure proper dental health for your pets, as well.
Groom your pets on a regular basis. Try to brush them frequently, at the very least. Some animal breeds don’t shed often, but it can be very beneficial to brush daily to bond with your pets. Brush their teeth, clip their nails, and trim their hair if they need it. It can seem like a hassle when you are feeling lazy, but a carefully groomed pet reflects a responsible pet owner well.
Clean up after your pet. If you live in an apartment or somewhere with a shared yard, it is especially important to clean up after your dog eliminates. Animal feces can carry harmful diseases and parasites that can make children very sick if they come into contact with it. Plus, it just looks gross to leave doggy doo lying all over the yard.
Finally, pay attention to your pets. It can be easy to get busy and neglect them, assuming they will just “do their own thing”. But like children, animals need plenty of positive attention, or they may become destructive. Take a few minutes each day to go on a walk or play with your pets. Give them a tummy rub or an ear scratch. They will thank you for it by staying out of your trash can. And if you cannot devote much time to your pets, at least leave lots of toys out for them to play with.
Be a responsible, caring pet owner. Participate in Responsible Pet Owner’s Month this February by doing all these things and more. After all, your animal companions deserve it.