5 Tips to Be a Responsible Pet Owner - NYCM Insurance Blog

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Feb 24, 2023

5 Tips to Be a Responsible Pet Owner

February is Responsible Pet Owners Month! As pet owners are aware, there’s a lot more that goes into raising a furry friend than simply playing fetch and taking naps together on the couch. Regardless of the type of animal, there is a lot of work that goes into raising a pet responsibly.


For Responsible Pet Owners Month, we wanted to take the opportunity to list five things you can do to help make sure your pet is living its life in the most comfortable, safe, and enjoyable way possible. Continue reading to learn five tips for being a responsible pet owner!


Research Your Pet


While your pet can hold a special place in your heart as one of a kind, your pet is also a member of a larger species of animals that has specific needs to survive and thrive. You should try to learn as much as you can about the animal and, if possible, the breed so that you can help your pet live the lifestyle it’s best suited for.


Not all animals will behave the same or have the same needs, but having a general understanding of things like what foods are the most nutritious for your pet , what temperature your pet prefers, how much exercise your pet needs, or what medications or vaccines your pet needs, will help you create an optimal environment and routine for your pet.


Some resources may be found at local pet stores, animal shelters, or veterinarian’s offices, and other resources are available online. Do some exploring and try to learn something new this month so that you can be the best pet owner you can be!


Provide Nutritious Meals

Is your pet often pawing at your leg at the dinner table, begging for some table scraps? While they may be both adorable and persuasive, you may want to think twice about forking it over. The foods we feed ourselves and the foods we should feed our pets don’t always overlap!


While some owners may not pay too much attention to the food they’re feeding their pets, your pet’s diet has serious effects on its health in both the short- and long-term.


Do some research to determine what foods are the best options for your pet. You may want to consult a veterinarian for this step as the answer may vary depending on your pet’s breed, weight, or age.


Spay or Neuter Your Pet


If you have a dog or cat and haven’t already had them spayed or neutered, you may want to consider doing that as your responsible-pet-owner-deed for the month. Spaying or neutering your pet is the first step to preventing any unplanned pet pregnancies that may contribute to the pet homelessness crisis.


Spaying and neutering also offers health benefits to your pet: spaying a female pet decreases the likelihood of uterine infections or breast tumors, and neutering a male pet can prevent testicular cancer and some prostate problems.


It’s common for animal shelters to host free spay and neutering events, which can be a convenient opportunity for your pet to undergo the procedure. If you can’t find a free clinic, consider contacting a veterinarian. While there is an expense involved, it’s important to note that spaying or neutering is more cost-effective than raising a whole litter.


Exercise Regularly

As with humans, exercise can have a large impact on a pet’s health and happiness. Prior to domestication, animals like dogs and cats were dependent on roaming for survival. From the comfort of our homes that need is no longer there, but a lack of exercise can still take a toll on a pet’s wellbeing.


Depending on the pet, a certain amount of space is required for the animal to live comfortably. As a pet owner, you should make sure your pet has enough space to stretch its paws throughout the day. Dog parks can be a great place for your dog to get some exercise while socializing with other dogs. Taking your pet out for walks is another great way to exercise outside of the home.


Regular exercise can improve an animal’s health and age expectancy, as well as their mood. Try to keep exercise at the forefront as you think about the present and future with your pet.


Spend Meaningful Time Together


When you get a new pet, you tend to spend a lot of time getting to know it as your new friend and roommate. But over time, that attention may fade as you get used to your pet being around, and you fall back into the routine of everyday life that existed before you adopted your pet.


Schedule a time every day for you to spend with your pet. This can be a time for training, exercise, relaxation, or other activities, but what’s important is that you continue to remain attentive to your pet well after the excitement of adoption wears off.


Being a responsible pet owner means more than feeding and sheltering your pet. Remember, as a pet owner, to a large extent you are responsible for shaping your pet’s reality – do your best to make it the happiest one possible!


Has your pet grown accustomed to your constant presence in the house with the COVID-19 pandemic? Check out our blog on how to spot and treat pet anxiety.