Happy Responsible Pet Owners Month

February is Responsible Pet Owners Month, and as a pet owner, you know that your pet’s health and well-being depend on you. Though both cats and dogs have wild, self-sufficient ancestors, the years and years that they’ve been at our side have bred them to be dependent on their beloved owners. As such, pet ownership is a huge responsibility, but you don’t have to take on all of their needs alone. Your veterinarian at Fayetteville Veterinary Hospital is here to handle their complex health concerns so you don’t have to.

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Tips on Responsible Pet Ownership

You’re likely already responsible for your pet, but you can also appreciate that there’s always more to learn. Let us help you identify all the elements of pet health you need to take responsibility for so you can see which bases you cover, and where you could use some improvement.

  1. Food, water, and shelter. This one sounds easy, but you’d be surprised how many pets are left to their own devices to roam the backyard, or even the neighborhood, in inclement weather no less! As an owner, it’s up to you to provide your pet with adequate nutrition (as directed by your veterinarian), fresh water, and shelter from the elements. While some pets are more adapted to the outdoors, their safety and health are often much better off in the comfort of your home.
  2. Exercise. Exercise needs vary dramatically between breeds and species of pet. Some active dog breeds require much more exercise than a docile Persian cat, but each still needs appropriate exercise and it’s up to you to figure out what that is. Do your research and talk to us! Exercise helps to not only stave off weight gain but it keeps your pet healthy and active which contributes to their mental health, too.
  3. Training. Helping your pet to understand their housetraining, proper behavior in a social setting, as well as things like walking properly on a leash, are all part of your responsibility. Without clear, direct training, your pet could be confused about your expectations, which will cause accidents in the house, uncomfortable and even dangerous social situations, and frustrating walks. Not to mention the strain on your relationship with them, too! Make sure you have the proper time to focus on training when your pet is young, so they can grow into a well-behaved adult.
  4. Affection. Our pets show us nothing but love every single day, and it’s up to us to show them the same affection. Despite your busy schedule, spend quality time with your pet. Whether it be taking a moment to greet them with the same enthusiasm they show you when you come home, or taking time in the evening to snuggle with them on the couch, make sure your pet gets the affection they crave.
  5. Visits to the vet. Last, but far from least, it is your responsibility to make sure your pet gets the health care they need throughout their lives. They don’t have the luxury to tell us directly when something is wrong so it’s up to you to home in on any abnormal behavior, and set up annual exams, even if they seem fit as a fiddle. Pets are experts at hiding illness, but with our experience and diagnostic capabilities, we can discover underlying illnesses and conditions, and address them immediately.

Have any questions or any concerns about your responsibility as a pet owner? Contact us today at (315) 637-9801.

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