Owning pets can be incredibly rewarding. They bring joy and unconditional love into our lives, but it is easy to forget that they have needs, too! Pet ownership can be a very rewarding experience, but it is also a great responsibility. February is Responsible Pet Ownership Month, established to help us remember what it means to care for our best friends. Here are some things to consider when caring for your pet:
- Training. For dogs in particular, simple obedience training can reduce unwanted behavior, keep them safe, and help establish a strong bond between pet and owner.
- Nutrition. Nutrition forms the foundation for a long and happy life. With a little research and a consultation with your vet, you can be sure you are providing the best nutrition for your pet.
- Hygiene. Keep your pet’s coat clean and trimmed if necessary. Regular baths, nail trims, ear cleaning and tooth brushing are important. Oral hygiene is key to preventing dental disease.
- Exercise. Make sure your pet gets plenty of exercise. This not only keeps them healthy; it can also prevent behavior problems due to pent up energy.
- Update ID. Current ID tags can help ensure a lost pet finds its way home. If your pet isn’t microchipped, consider it! If your pet is microchipped, make sure your information with the microchip registry is up to date.
- Health care. Spaying and neutering is a vital component of pet health. Bring your pet to the vet for annual checkups and vaccines. This annual visit can catch any health problems early!
- Pet proof. Make sure your home is safe for your pets. They are curious by nature, so be sure there are no toxic plants or substances in their reach. Crate training your dog will ensure their safety when you are not home.
These are just a few of the components of responsible pet ownership. Our animals give us their love and trust, and it is up to us to make sure they are healthy, happy and safe!
Click here for tips from the American Veterinary Medical Association on responsible pet ownership: