February is Responsible Pet Owner Month

What exactly does this mean?

Being a responsible pet owner is much more than just providing adequate water, food and shelter for your pet. Domestic pets are completely dependent on their owners for their welfare. Understand the commitment involved in adopting a pet. Research the average lifespan of the animal you are interested in and consider how your life may change over that length of time. How many times will you move? Will you have children? What will happen to your pet if you can’t care for it any longer?

Be kind to your pets and give them lots of love and attention... remember you are their world!

A dog should always be wearing its licence tag, you never know when they will wander off and get lost. A microchip is also a good idea; it serves as a permanent form of identification and cannot be removed or altered. Having both a tag and microchip is the best way to ensure your dog is returned home.

Just like people, animals have different personalities and activity levels. Choose a pet that suits your lifestyle, e.g. an energetic dog for an active family. Research the breed background so that you are prepared for grooming requirements, common illnesses, and personality traits.

Dogs strive on companionship and need to be with their human pack. Chaining a dog to a dog house is not a good life; they deserve to be by your side as member of the family.

Exercise is very important for your dog however, make sure it’s always walked on a leash unless in an approved off-leash and fenced in area.

Cats are safest when they remain indoors. Consider the potential risks to roaming cats, such as being hit by a car, attacked by another animal, exposure to infectious disease, frostbite, and the list goes on. Many cats enter shelters because they have been viewed as a nuisance by neighbours and do not have identification.

Nutrition is just as important to your pet as it is to you. Pets suffer the same types of obesity related health issues as people and a diet that lacks proper nutrition can lead to malnourishment and disease. Some human foods such as chocolate and artificial sweeteners can even be deadly to pets.

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