Learn more about dog ownership and care in September
What: See Spot run. See Spot jump. Watch Spot: make sure he doesn’t jump over the fence while chasing a squirrel in the backyard. Owning a dog may be fun, but sometimes people forget that it is also a big responsibility. Dogs need proper care. They need to be fed, brushed and walked. This September, learn more about proper dog care during Responsible Dog Ownership Month.
Background: After seeing a cute puppy at the pet store or at an adoption fair, the desire to bring a dog home can be overwhelming. However, people often jump into dog ownership without stopping to consider the cost or the time involved in raising a dog. During September, the American Kennel Club encourages dog owners and potential dog owners to make themselves more familiar with the needs of dogs.
Story Pitch: A wide variety of groups and organizations can pitch around Responsible Dog Ownership Month. Veterinarians should note the importance of regular vet care, even when pets may not appear to have illnesses or injuries. In addition, local police stations may reinforce the need to keep dogs out of cars during periods of extreme heat or cold. Producers of dog food can explain the importance of a proper diet for dogs, noting the unique dietary needs of overweight dogs or older dogs. Pet supply retailers can advertise a wide array of dog products, from leashes and collars that keep dogs safe to toys that engage dogs during play. Dog grooming shops, dog walkers, dog boarding locations and similar organizations can also promote their services. Finally, pet adoption agencies can use this month to emphasize the importance of researching the different aspects of dog and pet ownership before making the decision to adopt.
Story Hook: According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 18.7 percent of dog owners do not take their dogs to the vet, primarily because their pets were not sick or injured. What are the most important aspects of dog ownership that will keep a dog healthy, happy and safe? Consider the following when you make your pitch:
- How important are routine health care visits to long-term pet health? Which injuries or illnesses are more likely to be detected by a veterinarian before symptoms become apparent to pet owners?
- What are the most important elements of a dog’s diet? Do different dog breeds require different types of nutrition?
- How can owners best keep their dogs safe, both at home and while on walks?
- What are the most important steps a dog owner should take immediately before and after deciding to get a dog?
Tips: A vet who treats dogs on a regular basis can offer some tips about dog health and responsible dog ownership. In addition, a dog owner who gives their dog(s) proper medical care can make suggestions about easy and affordable dog care.
American Kennel Club
American Pet Products Association
Humane Society of the United States
National Animal Interest Alliance
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