May is National Pet Month, a time to celebrate the importance of pets and pet ownership. Pets bring a lot of joy into people’s lives. However, like so many of life’s everyday joys, we can easily take pets for granted. Not this month, though! We’re going to learn about National Pet Month and get some good ideas on how to celebrate it.
National Pet Month began over twenty years ago. It started in England, where it is celebrated in April instead of May.
Pet Month, in both countries, has five specific goals. Let’s look at these goals and visit some websites that support them. National Pet Month exists to:
Promote the Benefits of Pet Ownership
- Science can’t measure the happiness that a pet’s love brings to its owner. However, it can measure the positive health effects that owning a pet has on a person! For instance, did you know that medicine is less effective in controlling blood pressure than pets are? Or that it has been proven that pets reduce stress? The Health Benefits of Pets is an excellent web page that examines these (and much more) facts about how owning a pet is actually good for you.
Support Pet Adoption
- Every pet owner knows that their pet is not a possession—it is a family member! So, if you’re thinking about getting a pet, consider this: Who better to share your love with than a creature with no family of its own? The Online Pet Adoption Guide is a very useful website that offers help to people who are considering adopting a pet. It includes links to resources like a personality quiz to see which dog breed might be best suited for you. The ASPCA website has a fantastic Adoption Page which provides plenty of information about adopting a pet, including a nationwide database of dogs and cats looking for a loving home. Just enter your zip code and see who is out there waiting for you.
Promote Responsible Pet Ownership and Care
- The happiness and well-being of a pet depend on how seriously the pet owner takes the responsibilities of ownership. It is important to consider the health needs of your animal. Are they eating right? Are they getting enough exercise? Are they overdue for a visit to the vet? Also, are you prepared for a pet’s unexpected injury? First Aid Tips for Pet Owners is a web page with valuable information about taking care of your pet in case of an emergency. Another useful web page is Pet Care Checklist, which gives advice on how to make certain that your pets are being properly taken care in the event you have to travel without them.
Increase Public Awareness of Animal Care Professionals
- Let’s hear it for veterinarians! They perform a valuable service, and it's time that they got their applause. National Pet Month is a good time to recognize your vet’s good work. To get a real idea of just how much a veterinarian actually helps pet owners visit Questions and Answers – Veterinary Medicine. This online resource provides answers to over 100 inquiries about pet health issues. Topics include heartworms, seizures, proper grooming, chocolate toxicity, skin problems, fleas and much more.
Raise Awareness of the Value of Service Animals
- If you believe that pets are simply for enjoyment, think again. Pets can provide valuable social contributions! Service animals are specifically trained to provide assistance to individuals with disabilities. The majority of service animals are dogs; however miniature horses are sometimes trained to guide people with visual impairments. Also, helper monkeys are trained to provide assistance to people with spinal cord injuries. Questions about Service Animals is a document by the U.S. Department of Justice which answers common questions about service animals and the rights of their owners. Finally, Creature Comforts is a very well written article about some of these extraordinary service animals and their owners.
Further Information Resources
- The Best Dogs for Kids
- Pet Reptiles and Amphibians