Caring for our companion animals is a big responsibility. What goes into being a responsible pet owner? The elements of responsible pet ownership go beyond providing our animals with food, water, and shelter. We’ve collected a few basic but important tips on the components of good pet care, courtesy of the experts at the American Veterinary Medical Association.
- Make sure your dogs and cats have proper, up-to-date identification (tags, microchips, registration) in case they get lost.
2. Spay and neuter your companion animals so they do not contribute to the pet overpopulation problem. Low-cost spay and neuter options are widely available.
3. Always be sure to clean up after your dog and be aware of local ordinances like licensing requirements and leash laws.
4. Don’t allow your cat to stray or wander off. Indoor cats lead safer, healthier, and longer lives than cats allowed to roam outdoors.
5. Keep your pet healthy with regular trips to the vet for preventive veterinary care.
6. Your companion animals depend on you for a lifetime of care, so avoid impulsive decisions to get a new pet.
7. Make sure your pets are well-socialized and trained, and that you provide them with plenty of mental stimulation and physical exercise.
8. Budget for unexpected pet-related expenses like veterinary emergencies.
9. Don’t forget about your pets when assembling home first aid kits or making a disaster preparedness plan for your household.
10. Limit the type and number of pets you have to those you can adequately care for (and never “sneak” an animal into a residence with a no-pets policy).