The month of May is known as Responsible Animal Guardian Month. In order to help you recognize this awareness month alongside Homeward Bound, we have produced our favorite characteristics that make up a responsible pet owner. Here is our list!
How to be a Responsible Pet Guardian For Your Dog and Cat
Proper Medical Care for Your Pets
One very important component to being a responsible pet owner is providing them with adequate medical care. This takes into consideration their overall health, as well as, more specific aspects such as flea and tick medication or appropriate grooming, another way for your animal to feel healthy. To ensure that they are getting the medical care that they need, schedule regular check ups with your vet as well as regular appointments with your groomer. Medical care is a very important part of ensuring that your pet lives a long and happy life.
Provide Your Pet with Physical and Mental Stimulation
Another piece of the puzzle when building a happy life for your pet is a balance of physical and mental stimulation.
If you own a dog, physical stimulation could be provided by scheduling midday walks or by playing fetch with them. For a cat, physical stimulation might come in the form of chasing a tiny mouse toy or running around the house.
Proper mental stimulation for a dog can be provided by buying them treat toys so that they have to figure out how to obtain their snack. Treat toys can also be used for cats such as filling a Kong with their favorite wet food and freezing it.
Having a mix of both the physical and mental components for your animal is a great way to keep them happy and out of trouble as this balance is proven to reduce boredom.
Lost Animal Prevention for Your Pets
The third component of responsible pet ownership is ensuring that your pet does not go missing. For lost dog prevention, read our blog post for National Lost Dog Awareness Day. For preventing your cat from going missing, consider keeping them indoors and making sure that they do not have the chance to get out through any open doors or screen-less windows.
Socialization of Your Pets
Early socialization for both dogs and cats is important. If you have a young pet, make sure that they are introduced to several different sounds, situations, people, and other animals. This will ensure that as they grow up, they are not living in fear of new things that they have never encountered before. If your animal is older, socialization is still important, just be slightly more cautious as they may have never encountered certain situations before.
Education of Yourself
Another key feature of being a responsible animal guardian is education, not for your animal, but for you. Learning about dog behavior, cat behavior, or the behavioral patterns of any other animal in your care makes for a great two way relationship. Many animal attacks or undesired behaviors are the result of the owner misinterpreting the signals that their pet is exhibiting. Learning about their behavior makes for a partnership where everyone is happy as you are all on the same page.