Tips for Responsible Pet Ownership

What is being a responsible pet owner?
How many times have you gone outside and a dog goes running by without a care in the world? Where is the owner? Do they know Fido is gone and running up and down the street, chasing cats, digging in trash cans, and even nearly causing automobile accidents?

What about the neighbor who lets their animal outside to use everyone’s property as their personal restroom?

These animal owners are not considerate and responsible pet owners. Being a responsible pet owner is much more than just providing adequate water, food and shelter for your pet. Domestic pets are completely dependent on their owners for their welfare.

Owning a pet is a lifetime commitment. If you can't make the commitment, don't get the pet. Neglect is hard on an animal. Animals need interaction with their owners. Animals are not just backyard decorations. Choose a pet that fits your lifestyle. Don't get a high energetic dog, if you don't have the time to exercise him or a yard big enough for him to run and play by himself when you are not around. If you can't afford grooming or can't do the grooming yourself, pick a low maintenance animal.

Make sure your home is "pet" safe. Pesticides, medications, household cleaners and some houseplants (dieffenbachia, philodendron, hyacinth, and mistletoe) can be deadly to your pet. Keep them out of reach.

Keep an identification tag on your pet... it could be your pets ticket back home. Even animals living inside can on occasion escape into the wide world. Both dogs and cats need ID!! Micro Chipping is an excellent tool, but an external tag is essential, it could mean the difference of your neighbor returning your pet to you or turning him into the animal shelter. Take extra precautions during holidays like Fourth of July. It is the scariest time for pets;due to noisy fireworks. Make sure your pets are secure indoors. Also protect your pet during Halloween due to the scary costumes and the constant opening and closing of doors.

If Lubbock Animal Services picks up your pet, an identification tag or a microchip could be their free ride home! This should quickly tell us who their owner is.

Don't let your pets run loose. Any outdoor unleashed dog(s) should be secured in a fenced area. Not everybody in the neighborhood likes Fido as much as you do and do not appreciate you letting him run around the area alone.

An outdoor cat’s average lifespan is 3 years; an indoor cat's average lifespan is 14 years. If you must allow your cat outside, City Ordinance requires that it be spayed/neutered and have up to date vaccinations and traceable ID.

Provide veterinary care for your pet. Keep their vaccinations up to date and make sure they have annual checkups. Provide your pet the proper diet. Obesity can be as deadly as malnutrition. Be aware that some foods can be deadly, such as chocolate, and fatty foods can cause pancreatitis.

Be kind to your pet and show them with love... remember you are their world.