With the arrival of some real spring weather, May also brings National Pet Week, starting on May 3, 2020.
As a strong supporter of National Pet Week, the American Veterinary Medical Association (www.avma.org) offers some basic ways to assure that your furry friend is as happy and healthy as possible. For example, it’s important to give some thought and consideration to selecting the kind of pet that is best for your family and household. This means assuring as much as possible that family members can be responsible for meeting the various social and health needs of the pet you choose. If a dog is the addition to your family, encourage family members to provide regular exercise. Going out for a walk and for some playtime with the dog is always the best choice. Not only does it improve cardiovascular health but it helps maintain a healthy weight and support good mental health for all involved – human and canine! While we know that being overweight is often a problem for humans in the US, we also acknowledge that this is a problem in cats and dogs in the US as well. The Association of Pet Obesity Prevention (petobesityprevention.org) reports that in 2018 approximately 56% of dogs and 60% of cats in the US were considered overweight or obese. If your pet is in this category, regular veterinary visits that include discussions about healthy food choices will help your dog or cat obtain a more appropriate weight. Adding regular physical activity to the daily routine helps to expend calories and use up all that extra energy. Other ways to assure a happy, healthy pet is to spay or neuter and to develop a family or household emergency plan that includes your pet’s needs. Most importantly, remember that the addition of any pet to your family requires your commitment of care, support and love for the lifetime of that animal. For more information about National Pet Week, visit https://www.avma.org/events/national-pet-week