Welcome to National Pet Week! While every day is a great day to celebrate your pet, here are some reminders of what it means to be a good pet owner. Remember, you are their beloved and best advocate, so be up to the task!
1/ Choose a pet that’s right for you and your lifestyle. Do you have the time, the temperament and the space in your life for a pet? If so, you’re in for a rich reward. Love dogs? Great – but remember to consider the age, breed and activity levels of the types of dogs you like. Love cats, bunnies, birds or maybe something a bit slithery? Each animal has specific needs, so be sure you’ll be able to meet them before you commit.
2/ Socialization is key to well adjusted animals. What is socialization? Quite simply, it’s making sure that your pet is prepared for interacting with other people, other pets, places and activities. Training classes and trips to the park are two great ways to introduce your pet to the world. (Make sure their vaccinations are up to date)
3/ Give your pet regular exercise. You’ll both benefit! Obesity is a huge issue for people and animals, so why not make the commitment to get fit and stay fit by exercising together? Get outside and walk, run and play! Hint: studies show that dog owners may get more exercise than those who don’t have a dog.
4/ Love your pet? See your vet! Regular check-ups by your vet are vital and not just because pets need vaccinations. Around half of pet owners do not take their pets to the vet unless it’s sick or injured. Don’t make that mistake – it’s best to catch potential health problems early, before they get serious and potentially expensive. Make the call. (Find the AZPetVet location nearest you)
5/ Population control – you play a role! Sadly, millions of pets are euthanized each year because they don’t have homes. Talk to your vet about when to have your pet spayed or neutered. Pet owners can avoid unplanned breeding by spaying/neutering, containment or through managed breeding.
6/ Emergencies happen. Be prepared. Do you have an emergency plan for your home? If not, it’s a great time to make one – and don’t forget your pets! What happens if your pet becomes ill or is injured? You can read more about what to do in an emergency here.
7/ Give your pet a lifetime of love. Just like people, as pets age, they’ll need more care. Regular veterinary exams can detect problems in older pets before they become advanced or life-threatening. Don’t forget to adjust their food intake as they age – ask your vet about the best types for your pet’s age, size and breed. Together, you can enjoy a longer and healthier lifetime full of love.