Responsible pet ownership 101

Animals need appropriate food, fresh and clean water, and appropriate shelter.

What makes a responsible pet owner?  First, we should consider BEFORE getting a pet whether we can make the commitment required, and we should research the needs and characteristics of particular pets to figure out which one suits our lifestyle best.

We also need to believe in “’til death do us part”.  Our commitment needs to be for the entire life of the animal.  If life throws us a curve ball and we have to re-home our pets, we need to carefully plan who will be the next care provider.

Another thing we need to believe in is “for better or for worse”.  There will be times that we struggle, and we need to commit to working through any challenges that arise.

Animals need appropriate food, fresh and clean water, and appropriate shelter.  Those are obvious.  They also need physical exercise and interactive play on a daily basis.  Just as important, they need mental stimulation!

We have to commit to providing the health care they need, whether it’s regular vet care like necessary vaccines and annual checkups, emergency care, or preventive care.  Spaying and neutering is part of this responsibility so we don’t contribute to the pet overpopulation problem.

Our animals need proper identification, including updated and accurate tags, as well as microchips or tattoos.

Behavioural issues are one of the most common reasons animals are surrendered, so animals (especially dogs) need to be trained using positive methods.

Finally, all pets need love and companionship – they are happier if they are part of the family!