Responsible Pet Owner Month in February is Going to the Dogs
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Responsible Pet Owner Month in February is Going to the Dogs

Responsible pet owner month in February is an opportunity to learn about the responsibilities of pet ownership. Responsibility goes beyond feeding and walking a dog. It involves choosing the right pet, healthcare and exercise.

Responsible Pet Owner Month in February has gone to the dogs, cats and other animal friends. The designation for this month is to raise awareness while educating the public on just what responsible pet ownership means.

Every day, unwanted dogs and other pets are taken to the local pound. Some of these are taken as puppies. Other animals go in because they are old or because their owners can’t take care of them any more. People use almost as may reasons to take their animals to the shelters as there are pets.

Responsible pet owner month in February gives us a great opportunity to look at what it means to have a four-footed family member. The responsibility goes way beyond feeding and walking a dog. It involves time, training and attention and begins well before the puppy is brought home.

Spend some time thinking about what breed is right for your family before you go into a shelter or pet store. Energetic dog breeds that need lots of room to run may not be suited to life in an apartment. Similarly, large dogs or dogs that bark a lot may have problems when confined.

Families need dog breeds that work well for children. Small children and older children have different needs and may respond to different breeds of dogs.

Another consideration that responsible pet owners should think about includes the amount of time that can be devoted to the dog. Do you have time to walk the dog each day? Does your schedule permit you to take the dog to the park or play together? No matter which breed of dog you have the answers to these two questions should always be yes.

A responsible pet owner plans for expenses like monthly heartworm medicine and vet bills. Some offices have health maintenance plans. After a policy is taken out, owners pay a monthly fee to get reduced rate office visits, lab work and other services.

There are records that a responsible pet owner must keep on the dog. These include records for legally required vaccinations such as a rabies shot and general health care information. All pets should have tags for identification and vaccinations. Depending on where you live other tags may also be suggested.

It goes without saying that spaying and neutering is a critical part of being a responsible pet owner. Low cost programs exist in many areas of the country. Your county health department or animal control can usually tell you what is available in your area.

Training is essential to the mental health of any pet. Both private trainers and trainers who work through pet stores offer behavior classes. A responsible pet owner should be vigilant about teaching the dog how to behave around people. All dogs should be able to respond to basic commands like sit, stay and come. Behavior classes aren’t just teaching your pet, they are teaching you.

Socialization is something else that a responsible pet owner takes seriously. A well socialized dog will play well with others. Getting dogs used to other family members should begin when the puppy is very young. Doing so will go a long way toward a life of fun happy memories between your pet and your family.

Contact your veterinarian to find out more about ownership responsibilities during Responsible Pet Month in February.

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Comments (5)

Spaying and Neutering is critical... there is NO excuse for not having this done, if a person cannot afford it, they can adopt a pet that is already fixed rather than getting one who is not. Good info. I hope more people will think before getting a pet.. and more people would visit their local shelter when looking for a pet - in the USA alone over 4 million are euthanized every year..

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I completely agree! My daughter volunteers for the local shelter when she can. It's very sad. After deciding what type of dog we needed it took us two years to find him. He is a highly trainable rescue who fits our needs perfectly. I tell my family that he's the last dog I want that's smarter than we are. :)

This is excellent advice LG but I would like to add dental hygiene to you list of things to be considered by responsible pet parents. February is also Pet Dental Health Month, Responsible pet parents make sure they brush their pet companions teeth daily just as they make sure their human children brush daily. To find out all about this essential routine read my article on pet dental fygiene. Here is the link to it over on Wikinut.

I love your title

Good advice!