Pet ownership has become such a natural part of our lives that, today, more than 60% of U.S. households are home to one or more dogs and/or cats. There are many, many positive effects that can be directly attributed to pet ownership. Among them are better fitness and health (such as with walking a dog), less stress (from actions such as petting your cat or dog), and an emphasis on nurturing behavior (who doesn’t like a hug?). They guard us, help out with hunting, proudly compete, provide service, and become our true companions. We choose our pets for a wide variety of reasons. Pet ownership comes with great reward and great responsibility to offer our pets a good home and a better life. February is designated as Responsible Pet Owners Month to bring attention to the things we humans can do to make a better life for our pets, and ourselves.
Wagging Green’s Love Dog Design celebrates and represents responsible pet ownership. We share our environment with our pets and for the most part, we act as responsible pet owners. The American Veterinarian Medical Association (AVMA) lists several things we an do, starting with our commitment when making the decision about which pet(s) to bring into our lives and understanding the financial and time obligations we’ll have for our pet(s). Of curse, AVMA also highlights that we need to obey all ordinances, such as cleaning up after our pets, following leash laws (which protect your pet as well as others), not contributing to over-population, and preparing for emergencies.
Fido Friendly adds to the importance of being prepared, including traveling safely with your pet. Family Pet also offers tips for responsible pet ownership, starting with regular visits to the vet and ensuring that pets are spayed/neutered to reduce pet overpopulation; February is also national Spay/Neuter month, so you may find spay/neuter discounts in February. According to the ASPCA, 6.5 million animals enter shelters every year, and tragically 1.5 million of those pets are euthanized. Responsible pet ownership requires an on-going commitment, non-emotional decisions, and sometimes, some getting help (including talking with your veterinarian about any issues or finding a training resource). If owners who elect to relinquish or abandon their pets could be reduced by 30% the burden on welfare shelters would be dramatically reduced. Love your pet – have them spayed or neutered.
Unfortunately however, pet abandonment and abuse has grown and that has created a predominantly negative effect, primarily because too many people have underestimated the true responsibilities involved with pet ownership. We humans move about the country, our time commitments and / or financial priorities change, and we live our lives in an uncertain world. At the same time, our pets grow uncontrollably, they make noise, they don’t always do what we expect or want, they don’t always get along well with others, and sometimes they get sick and / or need medical attention. These complexities are among the top abandonment reasons cited by the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy. Simply stated, pet ownership isn’t something that can be taken lightly.
National Today includes the importance of diet and nutrition for our pet. Most importantly, National Today reminds us of why responsible pet ownership is so important – our pets have feelings!
You may now be wondering what to consider when choosing a pet to ensure you can provide it a safe, happy, and healthy home. Responsible pet ownership begins with education. A pet, an owner’s lifestyle, and the environment should all be in alignment. We encourage pet owners to seek compatibility and understanding through various sources such as the AKC, ASPCA, the AVMA, the Humane Society, and the SAWA. Local pet shelters, rescue organizations, and veterinarians are also great resources as pet owners explore the right breed.
Our Love Dog products are designed to reflect responsible pet ownership, don’t let the magic wear off in the upcoming months!
Wishing everyone a fabulous, and pet responsible, Valentine’s Day!
Jim and Lisa