National Pet Month began in England over 20 years ago. Celebrated in May of each year, this special holiday has five important goals that you (and your pet) can participate in.
Share the Benefits of Pet Ownership
More than 25 years of research has shown that owning a pet has a significant positive impact on your health and overall well-being. Owning a pet can lower your blood pressure, lessen anxiety and depression, and even boost your immunity. Pet ownership has lifelong benefits: Children who grow up in a home with pets are less likely to have allergies and asthma, and Alzheimer’s patients do better when they have a pet in their home. Plus, the activities involved in caring for a pet (like walking your dog) can be a great source of exercise, which has its own significant set of benefits.
Encourage Pet Adoption
If you are ready to bring home a new family member, your first stop should be your local animal shelter. Shelter animals can be healthier than those purchased from pet stores or breeders, and adult pets typically have a fully developed personality as well as some initial training. Most importantly, adopting from a shelter or rescue organization helps a homeless pet in need. To celebrate National Pet Month, consider donating to or volunteering at your favorite animal shelter.
Celebrate Responsible Pet Ownership and Care
Responsible pet ownership has many different components. In order to make sure your pet is as happy and healthy as they can be, see that they get enough exercise, the training they need, all recommended veterinary care, and that they are being fed the right diet, including treats and supplements. If you have been putting off a vet appointment or new dog training activity, make a change this month that will benefit your pet.
Show Appreciation for Animal Care Professionals
Veterinarians, vet techs, and the employees of your local animal shelter are all worthy of special recognition. These demanding yet rewarding jobs can be both physically and emotionally taxing, with long hours and many difficult decisions that need to be made on a daily basis. To celebrate National Pet Month, take some time to thank the staff at your vet’s office or local shelter for the hard work that they do on behalf of all animals.
Highlight Hard Working Service Animals
Service animals work with the police and military, and can help people with disabilities to enjoy the freedom of living life independently. Service dogs can help their owners physically get around safely, and they can also be help by hearing or seeing things their owners cannot, and even altering their owners of external or internal (low blood sugar in diabetics or seizures in people with epilepsy). Animals can also provide valuable emotional support for their owners, helping them navigate through life with greater ease. To celebrate National Pet Month, partner with a service or therapy animal organization that needs your help.
How do you plan to celebrate National Pet Month? Do you have a special activity to do with your pet, or a favorite animal organization or cause? Let us know in the comments!