Friday, February 11, 2011

Being responsible every month*

February has been designated National Responsible Pet Owner’s Month, complete with a Facebook page dedicated to promoting the idea. Here are a few tips you can pass along to help others understand what responsible pet ownership is all about:

Fix ‘em
Nope, I will never, ever stop putting this item at the top of the list. It’s that important. Perhaps you missed the story in The Bakersfield Californian about the nearly 19,000 companion animals killed in our shelters last year, but the only way we’re going to get those numbers down is to reduce the number of pets being born. Need help finding reduced cost programs, including one where pitties can be altered for as little as $15? Head over to the website of Friends of the Kern County Animal Shelters Foundation and click on “Spay Neuter Options”. There you will find downloadable documents for reduced cost resources in English and Spanish. Feel free to print them out and share, share, share.

Tag ‘em
A pet that has identification is a pet who has a great shot of making it home should they become lost. Put an ID tag on them, get them licensed, have them micro-chipped (and register the chip after it’s been implanted) or do all three. Check out some of the offerings from companies like Home Again or Blanket ID (thanks, Gus!) that offer tags complete with alert systems should your pet go missing. Make your pet easy to get back to you should you become separated. And no more of this, “I don’t have to worry because they never get out” stuff. Gates get left open every day. Fence boards break. Emergencies happen. I’ve heard several people say that they will always stop for a loose dog who has a collar and tags, because they know the dog must be someone’s pet. 

Train ‘em
Enroll in a class, watch videos from trainers you respect, read a few books --- find a positive method that you can relate to and use it to train your pet. Training is far more than just bending an animal to do what you want it to. Training provides a common language for communicating with your pet, creates opportunities for bonding and promotes a secure, loving relationship. When a pet understands their role and expectations within a family system through consistent, positive leadership they can blossom into the loyal, devoted pet you dreamed of when you signed the adoption papers. Make sure you give them that chance. Need help finding a trainer or learning about training methods? Head to the American Association of Pet Dog Trainers website for more information.

Clean ‘em
A clean pup is a happy pup and frequently makes for a happy owner, too. Bathing is an excellent time for you to carefully check your dog for scratches, bumps, lumps or hitchhikers while providing another opportunity to get in some bonding time. Unless your pet goes in for regular (as in “monthly”) grooming, a regular bath is in order. Not sure how to properly bathe your dog? Know how to do it but hate the mess? Give Self Serve Pet Spa a try. The tubs are terrific, the owners are wonderful and when you’re done scrubbing your pup, you can leave the mess behind.

Love ‘em
But you already knew this one, didn’t you?

*column for the Bakersfield Voice


Trixie, Lily, and Sammy-Joe said...

Those are good tips on keeping your dog safe, healthy and happy! :)

browndogcbr said...

Hi Y'all,

Great article.

We can't talk about responsible pet ownership enough.

Y'all come by now,
Hawk aka BrownDog

Vicky said...

Thanks! I write a column for a local paper. I try and keep things simple, local and fun.

Lori @ According to Gus said...

Great tips...and thanks for the mention! The more we learn about blanketID, the more we love it! We can't wait to place our order.

Speaking of Clean 'Em, Gus is due for a bath this weekend. He will not be thrilled.

Happy Friday!

Cate said...

This is a great post with loads of good tips! Thanks so much for the mention, very much appreciated!

Vicky said...

Blanket ID is seriously cool! I love, love, love the tags! may have to order one myself.

Darby's headed to the dog wash this weekend, too. Can't say that he hates it, but he definitely doesn't love it :)

Cat Chat With Caren And Cody said...

I like those "tell it like it is" tips! Thanks for sharing!

meowmeowmans said...

Excellent post! Thank you for telling it like it is. :)

Anonymous said...

Great post! Thanks for stopping by our blog! I love your layout.

Elyse and Riley

Marg said...

That is some good information in the care and training of your animals. We especially believe in the doggie school. It is so helpful to socialize your dog. Have a super Sunday.

Kirby, CGC said...

I found your blog off of Marge's blog, I love this post!

I too am a big believer in training. Kirby and I start Rally classes in a few weeks, we may not be all-stars but I'm looking forward to just spending time with him learning to work together.

Looking forward to following your blog.

Kirby's Mom

The Doggy Blogger said...

Beautiful blog and great post! I'm following you from The Doggy Blogger. Hope to see you on my site.

Kitty Stampede said...

EXCELLENT Tips!!! I wish this was something more publicly taught. I find it's even not spoken enough by vets. So, so, so important. There are still too many people that get dogs and cats that end up not following these musts.
Great post!

AngelPups said...

Awesome post!!! And yes, Vicki, we envy your 73 degree weather!! ;-)
Kelly & Crew
Big Mac, Molly & Moxie

Vicky said...

Thank you for all of the positive feedback. Sometimes I feel like I'm restating the obvious, but then I have to remember that's only obvious to me because I've been heavily invested in the critter thing for decades now.

To the new people who stopped by --- give me a bit and I'll be on by your place :)

Self Serve Pet Spa said...

Once again wonderful blog post! Thank you for the mention!

It is always a pleasure seeing you guys and Darby!!

Tish said...

Thanks for sharing, pawsome tips! I would like to share some more on


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