Pet Calendar: Responsible Pet Owners
February might be designated Responsible Pet Owners Month, but as pet parents we know that responsibility is a 24/7/365 duty that we owe to our beloved fur-kids.
Here are some tips to help you be a responsible pet owner:
- Don’t make an impulsive decision when you choose a pet. Research the breed and species. Look for a rescue for the breed/species you’d like to share your life with and adopt, don’t shop.
- Choose a pet that suits your lifestyle. If you are high energy and active, choose a pet who can keep up with you. If you are a couch potato, choose a pet with whom you can snuggle. If you live in a city you may choose a different size dog than you would if you live in the country.
- Socialize your pet.
- Train your pet — cats and dogs and rabbits and ferrets require training and mental stimulation.
- Budget for veterinarian visits to keep your pet safe and healthy.
- Spay or neuter your pet.
- Be prepared to pick up poo. If you walk your dog, be responsible and pick up poo. If you have a cat, be prepared to scoop the litter box daily.
- Microchip your pet. If you don’t microchip, make certain he or she wears a collar with identification tags and your contact info.
- Feed your pet a healthy diet so he or she doesn’t get overweight. Diabetes in cats is a very real issue.
- Have an emergency evacuation kit handy for both you and your pets.
- Know who will care for your pet if/when you no longer can.
- Make arrangements, or plan to take your pet with you, on family vacations. Don’t have a “who’s going to watch our pets?” be a spur of the moment decision.
The biggest item in being a responsible pet owner is to know that you need to commit to your pet for his or her lifetime. Responsible pet parents don’t surrender their pets when they become old or sick or an inconvenience. Pets are a lifetime responsiblity and will give you a lifetime worth of love.