It’s National Pet Week: Let’s Celebrate!

petsThis week is National Pet Week in the US: a whole week to celebrate our furry, feathered, and scaly friends! The goals of National Pet Week are to promote responsible pet ownership, celebrate the human-animal bond, and promote public awareness of veterinary medicine.

Responsible pet ownership is a term that we hear often, but it may not always be clear what it entails. The AVMA has outlined 6 things that you can do to be a responsible pet owner:

  1. Commit
    • Avoid impulsive decisions when selecting a pet.
    • Select a pet that’s suited to your home and lifestyle. If selecting a dog, make sure the breed is suited to your lifestyle.
    • Keep only the type and number of pets for which you can provide appropriate food, water, shelter, health care and companionship.
    • Commit to the relationship for the life of your pet(s).
    • Provide appropriate exercise and mental stimulation.
    • Properly socialize and train your pet.
  2. Invest
    • Recognize that pet ownership requires an investment of time and money.
    • Make sure your pet receives preventive health care (vaccinations, parasite control, etc.), as well as care for any illnesses or injuries.
    • Budget for potential emergencies.
  3. Obey
    • Clean up after your pet.
    • Obey all local ordinances, including licensing, leash requirements and noise control.
    • Don’t allow your pet to stray or become feral.
  4. Identify
    • Make sure your pet is properly identified (i.e., tags, microchips, or tattoos) and keep its registration up-to-date.
  5. Limit
    • Don’t contribute to our nation’s pet overpopulation problem: limit your pet’s reproduction through spay/neuter, containment or managed breeding.
  6. Prepare
    • Prepare for an emergency or disaster, including assembling an evacuation kit.
    • Make alternate arrangements if you can no longer provide care for your pet.
    • Recognize any decline in your pet’s quality of life and make timely decisions in consultation with a veterinarian.

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