SYLACAUGA, Ala. –  Your pet is a member of your family. Whether it barks, purrs, lives under water, or spins on a wheel in a cage, animals provide friendship and in many cases, unconditional love regardless of circumstance. Many animals also provide therapy assistance and medical services.

Wouldn’t it be great to have a day or even a week to celebrate all that your pet means to you? There is a week and it is taking place right now.

National Pet Week kicked off on Sunday, May 7 and lasts until Saturday, May 13. It is observed every year in the full first week of May. According to the Alabama Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the week is set aside to celebrate the specials bonds between pets and their owners, to inform pet owners on how to provide their pets with a lifetime full of love and care and focuses on responsible pet ownership including veterinary care, disease prevention and a healthy lifestyle.

Although many of us treat our animals with love and nurture, there are always ways we can improve on the care we give them. Here are some tips provided by AVMA to help you become a more responsible pet owner:

1. Commit

  • Avoid impulsive decisions when selecting a pet.
  • Select a pet ​that’s suited to your home and lifestyle.
  • Keep only the type and number of pets for which you can provide appropriate food, water, shelter, health care and companionship.
  • Commit to the relationship for the life of your pet(s).
  • Provide appropriate exercise and mental stimulation.
  • Properly socialize and train your pet.

2. Invest

  • Recognize that pet ownership requires an investment of time and money.
  • Make sure your pet receives preventive health care (vaccinations, parasite control, etc.), as well as care for any illnesses or injuries.
  • Budget for potential emergencies.

3. Obey

  • Clean up after your pet.
  • Obey all local ordinances, including licensing, leash requirements and noise control.
  • Don’t allow your pet to stray or become feral.

4. Identify

  • Make sure your pet is properly identified (i.e., tags, microchips, or tattoos) and keep its registration up-to-date.

5. Limit

  • Don’t contribute to our nation’s pet overpopulation problem: limit your pet’s reproduction through spay/neuter, containment or managed breeding.

6. Prepare

  • Prepare for an emergency or disaster, including assembling an evacuation kit.
  • Make alternate arrangements if you can no longer provide care for your pet.
  • Recognize any decline in your pet’s quality of life and make timely decisions in consultation with a veterinarian.

For additional information on pet health and care click here. To adopt a Dog Gone Beautiful Pet of the Week, click here.

Jeremy Law for SylacaugaNews.com | © 2017, SylacaugaNews.com/Marble City Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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