sweet brown labrador puppy licking the nose of a blond teenager girlWhat constitutes responsible pet care? Certainly most pet owners love their pets. What should that love in action look like though? Is it daily feeding and petting? Spoiling your pet with treats? What does it mean to be a responsible pet parent?

Our blogs usually focus on how to prevent health care risks, ways to improve pet health and quality of life, or various health conditions. In this blog, we want to describe our view of responsible pet care and celebrate the many responsible pet owners who provide exemplary care and love to their pets each and every day.

Responsible Pet Owners and What Sets Them Apart

Thankfully, pets are more than simply animals these days; they are treasured family members and friends. Just look at the trend in all-things-pet, from high-end doggie fashion to luxury pet vacations. While some decadence is fun, and who doesn’t love snuggling and playing, responsible pet ownership is also about keeping pets healthy and safe and acting unselfishly on your pet’s behalf.

Here are some of the ultimate traits of responsible pet owners. Can you see yourself in these?

  • They are thoughtful about the decision to add a new pet to the family, considering the financial and time obligations, as well as the breed most suitable for their lifestyle.
  • “Adopt rather than buy” is their mantra.
  • Spaying or neutering? Absolutely!
  • They provide the training and socialization needed to keep their pets safe and well-adjusted.
  • They provide opportunities for daily exercise – whether that entails a walk, run, or high energy games in the home or yard.
  • Licensing, microchipping, and identification tags are kept up to date
  • Their homes are often tailored to the safety of pets (and kids) rather than pure aesthetics (please ignore the fur).
  • They understand the importance of a nutritious diet and avoid feeding their pets scraps or too many treats.
  • Annual wellness exam appointments are faithfully kept.
  • They ask the veterinarian questions and are eager to learn more about improving the health and day-to-day care of their fur friends.
  • Vaccinations and parasite preventives are a must for responsible pet parents.
  • They provide safe, climate-controlled shelter (namely, in the home) and minimize poisoning dangers by keeping all chemicals and lawn and garden products securely stored.
  • When traveling, they understand how to keep their pets comfortable, secure in a crate or seatbelt harness, as they head for their pet friendly destination.
  • They are pet conscientious and plan in advance for how to deal with any impending changes in the home or possibly stressful situations (like July 4th fireworks).
  • Keeping pets mentally engaged through challenging games and interaction is a priority since emotional wellbeing is as important as physical health to the responsible pet owner.
  • They respect the rights and safety of other individuals and animals by adhering to the rules, laws, and recommendations for playing well with others and being good pet citizens.
  • They are quick to respond to any health issue or behavioral challenge with quality veterinary care.
  • Helping other animals in need – whether through adoption, donations, or volunteerism – is often a way responsible pet owners show their dedication to helping rescue and care for pets of all kinds.
  • In it for life? You bet they are!

At Oakland Veterinary Referral Services, we have had the pleasure to get to know some amazing pet owners and their wonderful pet companions. Responsible pet owners make an incredible difference in the lives of animals and are some of the most loving, compassionate people around.

If our list describes you, thank you for being a stellar pet guardian!