10 Tips for Responsible Pet Ownership from the Veterinarians of VCA West Los Angeles

During this month animal protection advocates pass on to others the importance of being a responsible pet owner and join in teaching the public how to be responsible for the sake of our pets well being.

Animals are not only our pets but for many people they are a member of the family. But so much of what we do or do not do for our pets can have a really big impact on their well-being.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, 3-4 million dogs and cats are euthanized each year in the country and many more are confined to cages in shelters. This situation is created by nonneutered animals (spayed/castrated) reproducing and people intentionally breeding animals. A particularly problematic combination of economic hardship combined with a love of animals contributes to this problem in parts of the rural United States. In an average year, a fertile cat can produce three litters of kittens, with up to 4 to 6 kittens in each litter. Based on these numbers, one female cat and her offspring could produce up to 420,000 cats over a seven year period if not spayed or castrated.

There are also major overpopulation problems with other pet species, such as birds and rabbits. Local humane societies, SPCAs, and other animal protection organizations urge people to neuter their pets and to adopt animals from animal shelters instead of purchasing them from breeders or pet stores.

Below are 10 tips will certainly make your dog or cat happier and healthier provided by the VCA animal hospitals of America.

1) Animals are very good at coping and hiding their medical problems and because they cannot speak, by the time they start showing symptoms, their ailment can be very advanced. Therefore, if an owner is wondering if their pet should see a veterinarian for noted symptoms, odds are they should. -Dr. Johnny Chretin, DACVIM, Oncology

2) Notify your veterinarian if you notice any sudden change in your pet’s weight (gain or loss) as such changes can indicate the presence of a significant health problem. Early recognition is key to ensuring a good outcome. -Dr. David Bruyette, DACVIM

3) Many common foods that you eat may be harmful to your pet. Avoid feeding your pet foods such as grapes, raisins, chocolate, onions, garlic, macadamia nuts, and foods with caffeine such as coffee or tea. -Dr. Karen Eiler, DACVIM

4) Keep your veterinarian’s business card in your wallet; if you have to take your pet to an emergency clinic they will appreciate this information. -Dr. Teresa Reiser, DACVECC

5) It is important for an owner of a pet who has been diagnosed with a serious medical condition to obtain adequate information so that goals for their pet can be met. Speak with their veterinarian, research online, and/or seek referral to a specialist if necessary. -Dr. Johnny Chretin, DACVIM, Oncology

6) Many people don’t realize that marijuana and tobacco are toxic to pets and they should not be exposed to the smoke or allowed to ingest the plant material. -Dr. Karen Eiler, DACVIM

7) Notify your veterinarian if you notice any sudden change in water drinking and/or urinary habits as these changes can be signs of serious medical conditions such as kidney disease and diabetes. -Dr. David Bruyette, DACVIM

8) Medications that are safe for people can be very harmful to your pet. Do not give your pet any medications without first consulting with a veterinarian. -Dr. Karen Eiler, DACVIM

9) Food does NOT equal love – feeding an unbalanced diet or feeding to excess can be bad for your pet’s health. -Dr. Teresa Rieser, DACVECC

10) Exercise is just as important for pets as it is humans. It promotes mental and physical health and is a great time for bonding. -Dr. Johnny Chretin, DACVIM, Oncology

Focus on how animals DO FEEL when they are left behind. The song below says it all ~

What hurts the most, is being so close....
What hurts the most, is being left behind....
I have so much to say....
It hurts to watch you walk away....
How could you do this to me....
Never knowing, what could of been....
I'm all alone now....
Loving you is all I was trying to do.
Before walking away... please stop to think about how they feel.


Responses to "February is Responsible Pet Owner's Month"

  1. Our pets are our family member. I always give utmost importance to my pets. I myself take care of my pets as like a part of my family. But it is true that day by day the cost of pet health care is increasing and increasing. I have also got effective information about this from ABC Veterinary Clinic

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