Aside from February being Pet Dental Health Month, it’s also Responsible Pet Parent Month. What is that you ask? It’s a month where many rescue groups, shelters, and veterinarians, and other place will strive to promote and educate people about what it means to be a great pet owner. Many of us are great pet owners already but you know, there’s always something we might want to try or maybe we have been a little slacking in the litter box cleanup department, cut the walks down by a few minutes, or haven’t taken a trip to the dog park in a few days…this month reminds us to dig deep and keep up with the routines. It will make us happier, them happier, and you won’t feel guilty.
Here are a few other things you can do:
1: Make that vet appt. that you’ve been forgetting to make. Checkups are important. It might be time to get those fangs cleaned, get a new heart-worm test, or test the fecal matter for parasites. It may be time to implement that weight loss program for your chubby pup or think about what is needed for your older cat.
2: Play with your pets because it’s good for them and for you. Mental stimulation through play for play’s sake is important for health. Studies are showing that people who are calmer, happier, and serene play and find ways to make time to play and rest. Pets that play are often happier as well. Playing is a great way to release some pent up energy, redirect our minds from the daily stress of work, bills, and whatever else, and for our pets it can release anxiety too. It also can help shed a few pounds.
3: Work on those bad habits that your dog or cat has developed. Training is essential and helps your pets be good citizens and also promotes the bond between you both. It allows for a clearer method of communication and your pets will know what to do to receive positive reinforcement. It lays down rules, limits, and boundaries that can create a more harmonious household. So if you’ve been thinking about training classes, this is the month to do it!
4: Make sure the ID tags and microchip information is up to date. If you’ve changed your phone number, moved, or have renewed the rabies tag, make sure your dog’s tags has all the updated information on them. If your cat goes outside from time to time, get her micro-chipped and put on a breakaway collar on her so if she does get lost, she can be brought back home again.
5: Keep their medications consistent. Flea and tick meds as well as other medications are important to keeping your pet healthy. Parasites can make your pet extremely uncomfortable and no one wants fleas in the house. If your pet is on medication for health issues like a thyroid problem or arthritis, do your best to not forget to give it to them as prescribed. If your schedule is not consistent, it can cause problems in their system and they may lose their appetite, feel ill, or be in a little pain. Do what you can and talk to your vet if your schedule does not work well with the times your pet may need some medications, there may alternatives.
Photo courtesy of NYC Shiba Rescue