Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Give Your “Fur Baby” a Hug for National Pet Month

By Linda Cole

National Pet Month is a perfect time to celebrate how special our furry best friends are! This month dedicated to pets was started twenty years ago in England as a way to promote the love of pets with five specific goals.

1. Responsible Pet Ownership

Bringing a pet into your home is a serious decision. Pets aren't bookends or accessories, and it's important to get a pet for the right reasons, as well as to find one that fits your lifestyle. There are many considerations to think about before adopting a pet, because you are making a commitment to be a responsible pet owner for their lifetime.

We want to make sure our pets are up to date on their vaccinations, get enough exercise, have a safe and comfortable place to sleep at night, and eat nutritious food like CANIDAE All Life Stages dog food or FELIDAE cat food to help them maintain a proper weight and stay healthy. It's our job to worry about our furry friends and make sure we have a plan in place for emergencies and a pet first aid kit for unexpected needs.

2. Benefits of Owning a Pet

Children who grow up in homes with a pet are less likely to develop allergies, and being exposed to a pet in the first year of their life may have a positive impact on their developing immune system. Studies have shown that pets help kids with social, emotional, cognitive and physical development, and help teach a child responsibility and empathy. Having a pet at home helps us recover faster from an illness or surgery and they help lower stress levels, which reduces the heart rate and blood pressure.

Pets are even good therapists for us. Only a pet will give us unconditional love and listen to us without judging or being critical. The act of petting a dog or cat calms the person stroking them. Researchers are still trying to figure out why cat owners have fewer strokes than non cat owners. Science may not have all of the answers, but they do know that owning a pet is good for the body and soul.

3. Raise Awareness to Services from Pet Professionals

One aspect of being a responsible pet owner is finding a qualified veterinarian you trust. We depend on our vet to help us keep our animals healthy, and it's comforting to know they are only a phone call away. You can turn to your vet for advice, recommendations and proper health care when it's needed. Dog trainers teach us how to educate our dogs. Animal behaviorists and veterinary behaviorists help us learn how to deal with behavior issues in pets and help correct behavioral problems. And animal researchers dig into the mind and soul of pets, reminding us how amazing and special our pets are.

4. Raise Awareness to the Role of Service Animals 

Service animals help people with disabilities live as normal of a life as they can. With the help of a well trained dog, someone living with a disability can have an independent and full life. When it comes to aiding people, it seems like there's almost nothing we can't teach a dog to do. And canines are more than willing to assist us. Whether it's detecting low blood sugar in a diabetic, helping a child with autism cope, or alerting their owner of an impending seizure, the loyalty and dedication of service animals is second to none.

5. Raise Awareness for Pet Adoptions

Adopting a pet from a shelter or rescue group truly does save a life. You never know where you will find your best four legged friend. Hollywood animal trainers have long known that their next pet movie star is waiting in a shelter somewhere. The vast majority of shelter pets are well behaved, smart and eager for “their” human to walk through the door.

National Pet Month is a time to celebrate the love our pets give us. A common goal should be to improve the lives of pets no matter where they live. Our pets are there by our side and would happily follow us no matter where we go. When you have a strong bond and the trust of a pet, you can see their unconditional love shining out from their eyes. Once a pet gets into your heart, their love will remain with you for your entire lifetime, because it's impossible to forget the love they gave you.

Top photo by coda.allegra
Bottom  photo by Melissa Jonas

Read more articles by Linda Cole


  1. Pets really do provide some terrific therapy for children and adults. They sure have helped me through a bunch of things. Nothing better than having a cat, dog or donkey to love. Take care.

  2. Pets are a gift to us for sure!!!


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