What Does it Mean to Be a Responsible Pet Owner?

February is Responsible Pet Owners Month, but what does that mean? There are millions of pets across the United States, but not all of them are living in the best conditions or receiving proper care and attention. Being a good pet owner is more than just providing a place to live; it’s making it a home and ensuring your dog, cat, or other animal is well cared for and part of the family.

Being a Responsible Pet Owner Means …

Creating safe living space. Be aware of the products you use to clean your home or protect it from pests – are they safe for pets? Know what plants are potentially dangerous or toxic if your dog or cat accidentally consumes them. Keep objects out of their reach that may be a choking risk or unsafe to chew on. Instead, provide toys and supplies that are pet-friendly.

Providing identification. Even if your pet stays indoors most of the time, they should still have current identification tags and licenses. You may also want to consider microchipping in case they run off and are found without their collar.

Engaging in training. Your dog should have at least a basic understanding of commands such as sit and stay. Training courses can help with behavior and create a stronger bond as they learn other skills as well. Dogs of all ages can benefit from training and learn new commands.

Cleaning up after your pet. No one likes to be walking in the grass or on the sidewalk and find that pet owners have not picked up after their dogs. Part of being a responsible pet owner is cleaning up and helping prevent the spread of disease. That also means regularly changing your cat’s litter box too.

Keeping your pet healthy. This includes feeding them an appropriate diet and limiting table foods, taking them to get groomed on a regular basis for a healthier coat, and scheduling annual checkups at the vet. In addition, make time each day to play with your dog and let it run around and get some exercise. Dogs and cats need socialization and stimulation just like humans.

Being respectful of your pet. Interact with your animal in a friendly and safe manner and teach your children to do the same. If your pet is having obedience issues, sign them up for training so you can deal with these problems in an appropriate and effective way. Yelling and aggression can scare your dog and cause them to react in a similar manner or become anxious.

If you are going to adopt a pet, make sure you’re ready for the responsibilities that come along with it. Being a pet owner is a big commitment. For the times when you’re unable to be home with your dog, whether for the day or the week, sign them up for doggie daycare or boarding at Lake Wylie Pet Resort to ensure they’re being well cared for and their needs are met. Your pet is a valued member of your family, so treat them as such by contacting Lake Wylie Pet Resort today.