Pet Education

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Pet Ownership 101

Owning a pet is a privilege. Because our pets can't speak for themselves, owners take on the responsibility to take care of their pets and provide the support and resources needed to live healthy, happy lives. Providing that support begins even before we bring a pet home.

The benefits of pet ownership come with responsibilities, including:

  • Lifelong care of the pet. This means committing to the relationship for your pet's entire life.
  • Selecting a pet that is suited to your home and lifestyle and avoiding impulsive decisions.
  • Recognizing that owning a pet(s) requires an investment of time and money.
  • Keeping only the type and number of pets for which you can provide an appropriate and safe environment, including appropriate food, water, shelter, health care, and companionship.
  • Animals that spend extended periods of time outside require habitats that protect their health, safety, and welfare. Outdoor confinement of an animal should include provisions to minimize distress or discomfort to the animal and assure access to appropriate food, water, and shelter from extreme weather conditions.
  • Ensuring pets are properly identified (i.e., tags, microchips, or tattoos) and that their registration information in associated databases is kept up-to-date
  • Adhering to local ordinances, including licensing and leash requirements.
  • Helping to manage overpopulation by controlling your pet(s)' reproduction through managed breeding, containment, or spay/neuter. 
  • Providing preventive (e.g., vaccinations, parasite control) and therapeutic health care for the life of your pet(s) in consultation with, and as recommended by, your veterinarian.
  • Socialization and appropriate training for your pet(s) to facilitate their well-being and the well-being of other animals and people.
  • Preventing your pet(s) from negatively impacting other people, animals and the environment. This includes proper waste disposal, noise control, and not allowing pet(s) to stray or become feral.
  • Providing exercise and mental stimulation appropriate to your pet(s)' age, breed, and health status.
  • Include your pets in your planning for an emergency or disaster, including assembling an evacuation kit.
  • Recognizing declines in your pet(s)' quality of life and making decisions in consultation with your veterinarian regarding appropriate end-of-life care (e.g., palliative care, hospice, euthanasia).

Is Your Family Ready for a Pet?

Are you and your family contemplating the addition of a furry friend to your household? Owning a pet can bring immense joy, companionship, and countless memorable moments into your lives. However, it's essential to assess whether your family is truly prepared for the responsibility and commitment that comes with pet ownership. From the dedication of time and resources to ensuring a suitable living environment, there are several factors to consider. In this article, we will explore the key indicators that can help you determine if your family is genuinely ready for the exciting journey of bringing a pet into your home. By evaluating these aspects honestly, you can ensure a harmonious and fulfilling experience for both your family and your future four-legged companion.

  • Everyone in the family expresses a genuine interest in having a pet and is committed to taking care of it.
  • The family members have a clear understanding of the responsibilities involved in owning a pet, including feeding, grooming, exercise, and veterinary care.
  • The family has enough time to devote to the pet's needs, such as daily exercise, playtime, and socialization.
  • The family has considered the financial aspect of owning a pet, including the cost of food, supplies, vaccinations, and potential veterinary expenses
  • All family members are comfortable with the type and size of pet being considered, and there are no allergies or sensitivities that could pose a problem.
  • The family has a suitable living environment for the chosen pet, including enough space, a secure yard if necessary, and any necessary accommodations or equipment.
  •  The family has discussed and agreed upon the rules and expectations for the pet, such as where it will sleep, what areas of the house it can access, and any training or behavior expectations.
  • The family has researched and educated themselves about the specific needs, temperament, and characteristics of the chosen pet to ensure it fits well with the family's lifestyle and preferences.
  • The family has made arrangements for the pet's care during vacations or times when they are unable to be at home, such as finding a reliable pet sitter or boarding facility.
  • The family members have discussed and resolved any concerns or conflicts that may arise from owning a pet, such as division of responsibilities, potential impact on allergies or phobias, or conflicts with other pets in the household.