World Spay Day is celebrated the last Tuesday of every February. It exists to bring awareness to pet overpopulation. The Human Society reports on their website, “About 2.7 million healthy, adoptable cats and dogs—about one every 11 seconds—are put down in U.S. shelters each year. Often these animals are the offspring of cherished family pets. Spay/neuter is a proven way to reduce pet overpopulation, ensuring that every pet has a family to love them.”
Many pet owners, more so male pet owners, fear that their pet will feel less “manly” if they are neutered and that they will lose some of their natural tendencies, such as protectiveness. This myth has been debunked and the truth is, these tendencies are more personality-based. So having your pet spayed or neutered keeps them and any future litters safe. It is becoming more common to spay or neuter your pets earlier, rather than as they get older.
The Humane Society also shared remarkable statistics on their website from 2014 World Spay Day.
- 68,239 dogs, cats, rabbits, and other animals were spayed or neutered
- There were more than 700 World Spay Day events
- All 50 states and 41 countries participated
- 24 resolutions supporting spay/neuter were passed
These numbers only reflect pet owners who chose to make the decision to spay or neuter at a World Spay Day event, which is wonderful considering people are making this choice for their pets daily. There is no need to wait though for a national day dedicated to this movement! If all pet owners band together, the number of animals in shelters will drastically decrease.
If you have been considering spaying or neutering your pet, but you are concerned about cost, check online for free spay/neuter clinics and events in your area. Some clinics will hold events certain days of the month that they will perform these procedures free of charge.
Source: “Hooray for World Spay Day 2014,” http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/spay_day/
Just one week ago we celebrated the day of love, so it is only appropriate that we celebrate the love for our pets, as well. How do you do that you might ask? Well first of all, if you are a pet owner you probably do small acts daily that show your pets you love them. But think about your spouse, your boyfriend or girlfriend, or your children…whoever you spent Valentine’s Day with. Did you go out of your way to plan a special outing, or buy them a special gift, or make them a delicious treat? Just one day out of the year our pets deserve to be treated like kings and queens!
Here are some ideas you could try:
- Make them special pet-friendly treats or meals
- Buy them a new bed
- Take your dog for an extra long walk or spend extra time at the dog park
- Buy your cat a new scratcher
- Give your pet extra scratches, belly pats, and snuggles
- Buy or make them a new toy
- Talk to you kids about how important your pets are in your family’s life
With Spay/Neuter Month, Pet Dental Health Month, and awareness on animal abuse all falling in the month of February, these are all opportunities to show your pet you love them. Every little bit of affection you show them will enrich their life, but go out on a limb…try that new dog biscuit recipe you pinned on Pinterest last week or buy that three tier climbing cat tree!
Speak Up! National Justice for Animals Week – February 15-21
Animals cannot tell us when they have been harmed, when they are lonely, when they feel unloved and unappreciated. It is important for us to recognize this and take action for the animals that do not have a voice. The Humane Society provides us with startling statistics regarding animal abuse. While there is not a national database for reporting animal abuse there are many animals that are rescued from unimaginable cruelty every day. The Humane Society also shares with us that there is not one group of people that stands out in regards to animal abuse – this is a widespread problem, stating, “Most cases are never reported, and most animal suffering goes unrecognized and unabated. Cruelty and neglect can also cross socio-economic boundaries.” Here are some of the statistics they have shared with us:
- 64.5% (1,212) involved dogs
- 18% (337) involved cats
- 25% (470) involved other animals
- Reported abuse against pit bull-type dogs appears to be on the rise: in 2000–2001, pit bull-type dogs were involved in 13% of reported dog-abuse cases; in 2007, they were involved in 25% of reported dog-abuse cases.
*some cases involved multiple species
Cases of abuse do not just include animals being physically harmed, but also neglected. Animals are often times left in situations where they are not receiving regular food and water, are forced to live in conditions where their waste is not frequently picked up, or left outdoors in extreme weather- hot or cold.
These animals do not deserve to be treated as though they do not matter. It is our responsibility as humans to watch out for cases of abuse and report them to authorities.
Source: “Animal Cruelty Facts and Statistics,” http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/abuse_neglect/facts/animal_cruelty_facts_statistics.html
Pet Dental Health Month
Who doesn’t LOVE slobbery, drooly, licky kisses in the morning?! From your pet that is! Let’s face it, our pets don’t always have that freshly-brushed-minty breath anyways, but it is extremely important to keep an eye out on their dental health and the smell of their breath may be our first sign something is wrong.
Unfortunately, according to the American Veterinary Dental College, there are only a few signs that cats and dogs are suffering from a periodontal disease, one being bad breathe and the other being some redness around the gums. It is reported that often times these diseases are realized too late, but there are some things we can do at home to help prevent these dental diseases in our lovable pets.
- Brush your cat’s teeth – Daily is best; avoid human toothpaste, but select a pet specific kind. These will come in flavors that your pet will accept (fish and poultry.) It is recommended that you ease into brushing over 1-2 months.
- Have the vet regularly check your cat’s teeth and gums
- Brush your pup’s teeth – Similar to feline care…Daily is best; avoid human toothpaste, but select a pet specific kind. These will come in flavors that your pet will accept (fish and poultry.) If your dog becomes restless while brushing the side “cheek” teeth and it appears to be painful, please have this checked out as soon as possible.
- Rawhide and chew treats can be helpful
- Have the vet regularly check your dog’s teeth and gums
While these are all great tips from the American Veterinary Dental College, this is an important aspect of your pet’s health. Please ensure that you talk with your family vet and ask their advice on your specific pet and their dental care routine.
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Source: American Veterinary Dental College, http://www.avdc.org/