Responsible pet ownership

I was at a dog/cat rabies clinic yesterday at my veterinarians. There were probably about 25 people there standing in line to have their pets rabies and distemper shots done when I got there. This in my opinion is definitely part of responsible pet ownership. You must protect your pet from rabies and other diseases just as you protect yourself and your children from human diseases. Pets need regular annual check ups and the appropriate shots for their age.

You also must get your pet spayed or neutered. A single unspayed cat can breed as young as 3 to 4 months, though usually around 6 months, and can have up to three litters a year of 5-6 kittens. That is a lot of good homes to find for these pets. The more pets that are spayed or neutered, the fewer animals will end up in shelters to be destroyed. Spayed and neutered dogs and cats also make better pets. They don’t spray and try to mark their territory and they stay closer to home because they don’t have the urge to roam to find mates.

The next thing is to train your dog so that he will not be a nuisance to other people. They need to be socialized with other animals while they are young and they need to either go to obedience class or the owner needs to train themselves with books and videos and talk to other people with trained pets to learn how to train their own pet. Dogs are much happier and better pets when they know you are in charge not them.

The most important part of responsible pet ownership is to know if you don’t have the time, the inclination or the money to put into having a pet, don’t get one! These are not stuffed animals. They need to have responsible ownership. They need exercise, training, health care, attention, and love. Pets are a big commitment but if you are willing to take the time and care, you will be rewarded a hundredfold with unconditional love.

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