Australian Shepherd PlayingRecently I was reading a blog from a veterinarian and she was addressing questions I ask myself a lot. What are people thinking when they “collect” animals but cannot afford to feed or properly take care of them? What are people thinking when they let their pets reproduce irresponsibly because they want their children to experience the dog or cat having a litter of puppies or kittens? What makes people choose a huge dog for a senior citizen and a toy dog for a child or choose a herding dog for an apartment and a yorkie for the farm?

Owning a pet is a privilege and we are to provide for the pet or pets responsibly. Since Guardian Pet Sitters started in 1992 we have taught proper pet care and believe that is one of our responsibilities as an in-home pet and home care company.

We want to help pet owners to choose the right pet and be responsible by providing proper pet care. People fall in love when they see the pet but then don’t know what to do. If we help the pet owner learn proper pet care we are helping the pet have a good life. There is a lot to know about pet(s) and if we can help people be great pet owners then we have done our job.

We thought we would share with you the new guidelines for responsible pet ownership approved by The American Veterinary Medical Association’s Executive Board.

  • Committing to the relationship for the life of the pet(s).
  • Avoiding impulsive decisions about obtaining pet(s), and carefully selecting pet(s) suited to your home and lifestyle.
  • Recognizing that ownership of pet(s) requires an investment of time and money.
  • Keeping only the type and number of pets for which an appropriate and safe environment can be provided, including appropriate food, water, shelter, health care and companionship.
  • Ensuring pets are properly identified (i.e., tags, microchips, or tattoos) and that registration information in associated databases is kept up-to-date.
  • Adherence to local ordinances, including licensing and leash requirements.
  • Controlling pet(s) reproduction through managed breeding, containment, or spay/neuter, thereby helping to address animal control and overpopulation problems.
  • Establishing and maintaining a veterinarian-client-patient relationship.
  • Providing preventive (e.g., vaccinations, parasite control) and therapeutic health care for the life of pet(s) in consultation with and as recommended by its veterinarian.
  • Socialization and appropriate training for pet(s) which facilitates their well being and the well being of other animals and people.
  • Preventing pet(s) from negatively impacting other people, animals and the environment, including proper waste disposal, noise control, and not allowing pt(s) to stray or become feral.
  • Providing exercise and mental stimulation appropriate to the pet(s) age, breed, and health status.
  • Advance preparation to ensure the pet(s) well-being in the case of an emergency or disaster, including assembling an evacuation kit.
  • Making alternative arrangements if caring for the pet is no longer possible.
  • Recognizing declines in the pet(s) quality of life and making decisions in consultation with a veterinarian regarding appropriate end-of-life care (e.g., palliative care, hospice, euthanasia.

A lot of good points have been made in the guidelines. It addresses many of the problems we see today such as overpopulation and pet(s) out of control. Remember it is you the pet owner who is responsible for the life of the pet(s) you choose.