In honor of Responsible Pet Owner Month during the month of February, Wagbrag is here to help outline the ways that can help you be a responsible pet owner. Your pets rely on you to ensure their safety and health and here at Wagbrag, we take that responsibility very seriously and urge you to do the same.
Moving on from checkups and vaccinations, food and water, and daily hygiene, there are still plenty of other things that you can (and should!) do as a responsible pet parent.
Spaying and Neutering Your Pet
part of being a responsible pet owner and a responsible member of society is to ensure that you spay or neuter your pet. In fact, February 26th is World Spay Day – a day dedicated to helping save lives by encouraging responsible pet ownership. Cats and dogs can provide several offspring each and every time they are pregnant and they can get pregnant very frequently. When pet owners don’t spay and neuter their pets appropriately, overpopulation occurs and many animals end up having to be put to sleep. Even if your pet is an indoor pet or if you have a male and assume the onus of sterilization is on people with female pets, it is still imperative that you sterilize your pet. Everyone loves little puppies and kittens, but when there are too many, many of them end up dead.
Unfortunately, emergencies happen. In situations like a house fire or severe weather, the safety of you and your family is imperative. But it is important to remember that your pets are usually completely dependent upon you; if it is at all possible for you to safely remove your pet from the dangerous situation, please do so. While some cats and dogs may have some measure of control over their ability to get out, birds, rodents, snakes, fish, and other pets are likely to be completely restricted. Obviously, the safety of you and your family is of the utmost importance, but if you can safely save your pet it is a moral imperative that you do so. Be aware also that there are stickers and other signs that you can post in a window or on your door to alert emergency personnel (like firefighters) that there are animals in the home; they will attempt to rescue your pet whenever safely possible.
In Times of Trouble
Sometimes emergency situations aren’t a physical threat. Regrettably, sometimes life emergencies affect your pets as well. An accident or severe illness, a drastic decrease in income, and other dramatic life experiences may necessitate a change in the care of your pets. Consider putting together a plan that would allow a temporary home (such as with family or friends) where your pet can be cared for in case you may be forced with that situation.
It is inhumane and unethical to procure an animal only to then ignore it, leave it, or assume that it’s fine no matter what. Pet abuse is commonplace but just because you don’t treat your animals that way doesn’t mean you are being a responsible owner either. You are responsible for the health and safety of a living creature who thinks and feels. Having a pet is a serious thing, so take being a responsible owner seriously.
Photo: Courtesy of Drongowski via Flickr (CC by 2.0)