Be A Responsible Pet Owner
We all love the idea of having a pet in our home to share the joy and excitement that they bring to our lives. Since keeping your pet happy and healthy requires responsibility as a pet owner, here are a few key things to remember.
Select A Pet That’s Right for You
When you are thinking about getting a pet for your household, regardless of the species, remember this is a lifelong commitment to the animal, not just an impulse decision for you. Select a pet that best suits your lifestyle. For example, if you travel a lot, perhaps you should not get a young animal, which requires a lot of time for training, exercise and socialization. Also, be realistic about the type and number of pets for which you can provide appropriate food, water, shelter, veterinary care and companionship.
Recognize that pet ownership requires an investment of both time and money. Let’s face it—these are the two things many of us lack. Fully consider and discuss your pet choices with your veterinarian to get an idea of not only preventative care (like vaccinations, parasite control and spaying or neutering costs) but also the expenses of possible emergencies.
Microchips and IDs Keep Pets In Tow
After you have chosen your pet, make sure that he or she is properly identified using appropriate tags, tattoos or permanent identification like microchips. Establish how you will keep your contact information up to date for microchips and other pet identification systems.
Spaying and Neutering Addresses Pet Overpopulation Problem
Additionally, please do not contribute to our nation’s pet overpopulation problem. Limit your pet’s reproduction through spaying and neutering, containment or carefully managed breeding.
Include Pets in Disaster Preparation Plans
Prepare for an emergency or disaster by assembling an evacuation kit. Also, don’t forget to include your pet in your will or living will to make alternative arrangements for them in the event that you can no longer provide care for your pet.
Through these easy and simple steps, you too can be a responsible pet owner, ensuring that you and your pet have healthy and happy years together ahead.
James O'Bryan, DVM, is a graduate of Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine who lives in Paris, Texas. Dr. O'Bryan practices at Paris Veterinary Associates in Paris, Texas, which is a new clinic in Lamar County.