What You Should Know
Being a responsible pet owner starts before you even have a pet; adding a new family member is something that should be thought about for a long period. It should never be an impulse decision.
Part of responsible pet ownership is agreeing to provide adequate life-long care for a pet. Individuals and families must consider their abilities to provide adequate long-term care for a new pet, and choose the right pet that will fit their lifestyle. Once you have settled on a pet that you know you could adequately provide for, it is important to know of all restrictions in your local area.
Every municipality or county has its own pet bylaws. Cities and towns within those jurisdictions may have their own set of bylaws that are different from the municipality or county, it is important to research both. One of the first steps in being a responsible pet owner is looking through all bylaws for the area you reside and being familiar with the rules about owning pets in your area. Bylaws will list how many pets you may have, how you need to identify or license your pets, rules for having your pet out in the community, and even rules you have to follow on your own property. By becoming familiar with and complying with bylaws, you can avoid costly fines if you or you pet is not following rules.
Other guidelines for responsible pet ownership include:
Both permanent ID (microchip, tattoo) and non- permanent ID (license tag, nametag) are recommended. To obtain owner information from permanent ID a pet needs to visit a veterinary clinic or an animal shelter, a nametag on a collar can help get your lost pets home to you sooner if a community member finds them. Collars can also be damaged or fall off, so it is always best to have both types of ID.
Reduce Unwanted Population
Ensure You Spay and Neuter Your Pet(s)
Pets who have been sterilized not only reduce the unwanted population, but they make better neighbors. Pets who are fixed are generally calmer and don’t want to roam as much – they are less at risk for certain health issues as well.
Provide Preventative Care
Your pets should regularly visit a veterinarian, even when they appear to be healthy. With regular veterinary visits, any health issues that arise can be caught and treated in a timely manner. Most pets are skilled at hiding health issues or pain. Health issues are often only found by a trained veterinarian when completing a thorough physical exam.
Provide Adequate Mental & Physical Stimulation
All pets require adequate exercise and mental stimulation to be a happy, well-balanced animal. Pets who do not receive proper stimulation often have poor mental health that can affect every aspect of their life. Even small pocket pets will show negative health effects without proper play and stimulation.