Held each May, Pet Awareness Month is a month-long event that promotes responsible pet ownership and makes people aware of the benefits of adopting a pet dog or cat. This pet observance month, designated by the Office of Animal Health among others, brings together animal activists, non-profits, animal welfare groups and individual pet owners to discuss how to improve pet livelihood.
Being a responsible pet owner means that you, the pet owner, are choosing to give dogs and cats a better life off the streets or out of an animal shelter. This is a full-time, life-long commitment for the domestic animal that suggests that you will give the dog or cat unconditional love, care, basic needs, entertainment and support. After all, our pets are our best friends; and we want what's best for them.
Basic needs for pets
Food: Your pets need healthy pet food to help them feel young and maintain strength. Foods high in nutrients can give pets a shiny, healthier coat and the right food type for pets will serve them well as they age.
Water: Just like humans, animals need plenty of fresh drinking water. Keep an eye on your pet's water dish; and fill the bowl with ice cubes to keep them feeling refreshed. Proper hydration eliminates the risk of dizziness and dehydration.
Shelter: Protect pets from the weather elements; even if they spend the majority of their time outdoors as an "outside pet." Dogs and cats should always have a dry, indoor area where they can get away from the rain, heat or cold. In the wintertime, give your cats and dogs blankets and keep them out of the snow for long periods of time. The snow will hurt dog foot-pads and can harm them.
Socialization: Taking your dog to a dog park is a great way for dogs to meet new friends. If you don't have a dog park nearby, take your dog for a walk in a local park or meet-up with dog owners for a "play date." Time with friends is important for animal health and wellness.
Pet Health: Dogs and cats need a minimum of 30 minutes of daily activity to maintain strong bones and healthy joints. (Senior pets will require additional exercise.) Installing a backyard dog fence or outdoor cat enclosure allows cats and dogs the freedom to safely roam away from potential wildlife encounters while getting exercise. Play with your animals outside - throw a ball, chase them, wrestle around, and get exercise yourself!
Happiness: Your cat's purr and dog's smile says a lot about your pet ownership skills. Treat your pets to the occasional extra-serving of food or dog treat. Tell your pets you love them and give them hugs and kisses. And, don't forget to shower them with dog and cat toys!
EasyPetFence.com offers suggestions to celebrate National Pet Month
- Adopt a dog or cat from a local animal shelter. See your area's humane society for adoptable puppies, kittens, dogs and cats. Don't say "No" to senior animals!
- Take lots of pictures of your dog and share them on Instagram. (tag EasyPetFence)
- Plan a road trip with your pet. Let the breeze be your guide!
- Take your domestic pet camping, fishing or boating.
- Teach your dog new tricks - or commands.
Dogs and cats are our pet children; and we care about their wants and needs. Pay attention to your animal's behavior and take pets to the vet for routine shots and check-ups. Being a responsible pet owner is more than just owning an animal; it's about welcoming a new member of the family and offering them with acceptance, affection and attention.