Friday, February 12, 2016

What is a Responsible Pet Owner?

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Sleuth - The Veterinary News Network Reporter Dog 

Sleuth the Reporter Dog knows he’s one lucky pooch!  He gets plenty of great food to eat, the best in veterinary care AND daily exercise and ball throwing!  But, not all pets are as lucky as Sleuth, prompting him to ask the Veterinary News Network “how can we be better, more responsible pet owners?”

1)    Despite our love for our pets and the success of a national movement to neuter our animals, shelters and rescues still take in millions of surrendered pets every year.

2)    Many of these pets are given up because of behavior issues or because something has changed in the owner’s life.  Knowing why pets are relinquished can help us understand how to keep pets and their families together.

3)    First, it’s very important that owners make the right decision from the beginning and fully understand all of the needs of a pet.  Some dog breeds aren’t good in city apartments and some other pets may not tolerate young children well

4)    All pets, even those advertised as “free to a good home” will come with on-going and regular expenses.  Families should be prepared for routine vaccinations, parasite prevention, a good diet and, in some cases, regular grooming.

5)    Every pet will benefit from mental stimulation and physical activity on a daily basis.  After all, a tired dog is a good dog…even when that “dog” is a cat!   Plan to spend time engaging and interacting with your pet every day!

6)    It just makes good sense to be prepared for any sort of emergency.  That’s why pet health savings plans or even a pet insurance policy is a good idea.  Far too many pets are surrendered to shelters or even euthanized because the injury or illness was too costly for the owners to bear.

7)    Be sure to include your veterinarian and even the whole veterinary team in any discussion about adding a new pet to your home or whenever you have questions about what’s best for your current pets.  They have the best information and they all want to keep you and your whole furry family together for as long as possible.

8)    Avoid following advice from strangers on the Internet, especially if they are trying to sell you something.  They don’t know your whole situation and may lead you down a path for which you aren’t adequately prepared.  Trust your veterinary team!

9)    Sites like can provide you with accurate and unbiased pet health information.