National Pet Week

activities with dogs animal wisdom mindfulness select a pet wisdom of animals May 16, 2023
Woman with two Friesian Horses

I’ve never been on top of things, unless you count making sure we have ice cream in the freezer for weekend treat eating.

Last week was National Pet Week, May 7-13. Oh well.

As far as I’m concerned, every week is National Pet Week, so let’s take a look at some things that should be at top of mind for every thoughtful pet owner.

1. When you choose a pet, know it’s most likely going to be for their life. Most animals come into our lives for a reason. Some move on (I’ve rehomed a lot of horses in my lifetime), but most are in it for the long haul. We need to be, too.

2. Behavioral Health. Good Habits matter. If your animal is acting out, there is usually a good reason. We can figure it out together, if it’s not immediately obvious to you. Those puppies, kittens and other animals that come into the house as youngsters also need boundaries, and caring, kind training. If you let them run wild, you’re going to have a wild thing on your hands. Don’t come cryin’ to me! Be responsible.

3. Nutrition and Exercise are necessary. Get the best pet food you can. Some people like raw food for their dogs and cats. Pay attention to what your animal likes, and what keeps them healthy. Spend time with them, especially the dogs. You know how they crave being with “their” people. Our dogs go with us everywhere on the weekends, so long as it isn’t going to be too hot - and sometimes even then, if they haven’t been out all week, because despite the fact that they’ve got 10 acres to run around on, they still love the adventure of getting in the truck. If it’s warm, one of us stays with the dogs while the other runs the errands. What we do for love….

4. Your vet should be on speed dial. Get regular checkups for your pets. That might be only every couple of years, and let’s not get started on the supposed necessity of vaccinations. Our animals all have their rabies shots, but the others - pretty much not. We keep an eye on them, and if they start acting a little off for more than a day or two, we call our vet. Do what feels right to you, and consider carefully extreme assistance. Sometimes what our pet wants and what we want are two different things, so you can always check in with your pet to see what it is they want before you end up spending a lot of time at the vet. 

Photo by International Fund for Animal Welfare

5. Pay attention to what your pet wants and needs. You are a partnership. Be a good partner. They get to make decisions, too, although there can be limits. Our dogs would be very happy if we left the front gate open and let them run hither and thither. That is just not going to happen, for a number of reasons. We’ve learned to compromise (hence lots of truck rides). 

If you remember your pet has feelings, wants and needs just like you do, and is more than “just an animal”, you can’t go wrong. Remember they are with you for life, treat them like a valued family member, and life is good!


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