What makes for a truly responsible pet owner?

If you think about how you take care of your pets, do you feel like you’re being responsible for them? After all, no doubt you feed them, shelter them, even provide the occasional exercise. However, being responsible has many other facets to it beyond providing basic needs. Since February is Responsible Pet Owner Month, we figured it’d be the perfect time to delve deeper into ways you can take your pet care to the next level!

Have you taken the time to pet proof your home, for instance? Perhaps you did when you first brought your dog or cat home, but over time pet owners can get a little complacent about potential dangers their houses can pose to pets. Holidays, for example, present specific threats, whether from food, decorations, or otherwise, that pet owners can forget are hazardous to their dogs or cats. We’ve posted on most major holidays, like Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Halloween, pointing out specific steps you should take to protect your pet during those times.

Is your pet trained so that they know how to obey you quickly, whether on a leash or off it? Especially when around other people or animals, being able to control your pet’s behavior is critical to everyone’s safety. You never know how another dog’s temperament might be, so having your dog controlled can keep an aggressive pup from causing trouble. And having an obedient pet can also keep them from running away or causing damage to personal property.

Also, does your pet have a social life? This could mean getting your pup to the dog park on a regular basis so they are able to enjoy other canine company–or cuddling with your cat so you both get a little personal time. Dogs and cats are social creatures, and just like humans, they can struggle if isolated too much. Not to mention that letting your dog play with others will get rid of some of that energy that has them scrambling around the house so much.

Consider how you might go beyond basic care (like vet visits, getting your pet neutered or spayed, or having them microchipped) that shows you care deeply about their wellbeing!

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