Whimzees dog treat and toothbrush

How to be a Responsible Pet Owner

February is Responsible Pet Owner’s Month (and it’s the month with the most loving day of the year), but it’s actually no surprise that the month of amour is the same one that honors being a responsible pet owner. After all, with a lot of love, it’s easy to be a responsible pet owner because taking the best care of your pet comes naturally when it’s for the dog or cat you love.

Show Your Pet Lots of Love

Pets need affection as much as people do. Show your pet affection by talking sweetly to them, sitting down and petting them, snuggling on the couch with them, and letting them share your space. Pets need to be seen and shown basic love and attention as much as people do, so snuggle up with your fur baby.

Feed Your Pet Nutritious Food

Pets also, like people, love a good meal. Rest assured that the way to your pet’s heart is through their stomach. Actually, the way to your pet’s entire body and overall wellness is through their stomach, which is why it’s worth it to provide your cat or dog with a tasty, natural pet food specially formulated for their age, overall health, size, and activity level.

Keep Your Pet’s Teeth and Gums Healthy

Given that what ends up in your pet’s stomach passes through their mouth, then it logically flows that healthy teeth and gums are vital for your pet’s care. Dental issues make eating painful. Infections in the gums can spread. There are also links between poor pet dental care and diabetes and heart disease.

It makes sense that in addition to February being Responsible Pet Owner’s Month that it’s also Pet Dental Health Month. If you do nothing else for your pet this month, take responsibility for their oral health care by beginning a tooth brushing routine and feeding them a tasty dental chew.

If you have a senior pet, then talk to your veterinarian about whether or not you should also feed your pet a pet food targeted toward dental care as most degenerative gum and tooth occur in older pets.

Give Your Pet Lots of Exercise

Responsible pet owners also give their pets lots of exercise. Healthy pets need half an hour to two hours of exercise per day depending on their age, breed, size, etc. You can give your pet exercise by walking them around your house when it’s cold, taking them to indoor recreation facilities or parks, investing in toys (such as climbing trees for cats) that motivate them to move, or creating and leading them through obstacle courses out of objects around the house.

Play with Your Pet

Play also helps your pet get exercise, but it’s also a way for you to bond with your pet. There is no shortage of pet toys that cats and dogs are eager to leap, sprint, and fetch. Engagement is a great way to be a responsible pet owner.

Groom Your Pet

You can also be a responsible pet owner by grooming your pet. Grooming not only means bathing and brushing your pet, but it also means cleaning their ears, checking their eyes, and clipping their nails. During monthly pet grooming sessions, check your pet’s paw pads, their coats, and their bellies for potential lumps, hard spots, abnormalities, or signs of pests (such as flea bites).

Make Sure Your Pet is Safe and Secure

Responsible pet owners do what it takes to make sure that their pet is always safe and secure in and out of the home. Securing your pet means:

  • Making sure they are safe in the home when you go to work. Do not leave full trash bags laying around, access to cabinets with chemicals, ingestible foreign objects, etc. that your pet could get into and get sick or injured from.
  • Only let your pet outdoors if they are in a fenced-in location, are on a lead, or are being monitored. Regularly assess your yard’s fence for rotting boards or holes…places a pet could easily escape or another predator could easily get in.
  • When traveling, have a trusted pet sitter take care of your pet or kennel your pet. Many pets are lost or poorly cared for (not checked on, fed, etc.) when their owners travel.

Vaccinate Your Pet

Another way to keep your pet safe and to be a responsible pet owner is to have them vaccinated. Pets should be vaccinated against rabies, distemper, worms, Parvovirus, hepatitis, and types of influenza. Coronavirus is now included for dogs. There are several core and non-core viruses that responsible pet owners will want to have their pets protected against given that contracting many of these ailments can be fatal.

Spay or Neuter Your Pet

Responsible pet owners who are not interested in breeding should also spay or neuter their pets as not doing so contributes to an already high stray and unadopted pet population.

Get Your Pet to the Vet

Lastly, keep regular veterinary wellness visits. Pets need to be seen biannually when they are young and then annually later barring concerns. Responsible pet owners get their pets to the vet regularly and are able to spot health concerns before they become major issues. Pets that keep their vet visits are healthier and happier, and pet owners…well, they’re happier, too.

Responsible pet owners want to do everything they can for their pet’s wellness and quality of life. We at WHIMZEES® want that as well, which is why we make tasty, natural six-ingredient dental chews, so pet owners can have peace of mind when responsibly caring for their pet.