How to Be a Responsible Pet Owner

responsible pet owner

You look into those eyes and your heart melts! But that’s just the beginning of your relationship with your pet and being a responsible pet owner is not all fun and cuteness. It takes work to ensure that your pet’s needs are met and that they will be obedient and not pose a risk to you or others. Of course, the rewards are well worth it! February is Responsible Pet Owner’s Month. Below are some tips on responsible pet ownership:

  1. Think before you choose. When considering getting a pet, think about your lifestyle and the time you have available to commit to a pet. If your life is busy, for example, you may want a pet that is slightly older and already trained rather than a puppy or kitten. You’ll also want to evaluate the temperament of a pet and, if you have children, how the pet will interact with them.
  2. Give your pet proper medical care. If your pet is not spayed or neutered, get this done as soon as possible. Studies show that pets who are neutered or spayed are less likely to develop behavioral problems and live longer healthier lives.
  3. Make sure your pet is properly licensed and vaccinated. Check your town and state regulations.
  4. Pet-proof your home. Dogs and cats love to chew and eat whatever they find. Make sure harmful chemicals, plants, and objects that can get tangled in the digestive tract are out of reach.
  5. Get an ID tag or tracker chip for your pet. Even indoor pets are known to get out. It’s much easier for your pet to be found and returned to you if properly ID’d.
  6. Be sure your pet’s basic needs for nutrition and exercise are met. Talk to your vet about the amount and type of food your pet requires and how much exercise they need.
  7. Teach your pet to be obedient. Pets should understand the basic boundaries of what they can and cannot do.
  8. Socialize your pet. Pets, like people, have different personalities and desires to be with others. Expose your pet to other people and animals in controlled settings and reward good behavior.

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