It’s National Pet Week! Observed every year during the first full week of May, this pet holiday encourages pet parents to shower their furry companions with love, care, recognition—and perhaps some treats too!—for all the times that they have been there for them.
Founded in 1981 by the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Auxiliary to the AVMA, National Pet Week was created as a way to help promote and spread awareness about responsible pet care and ownership. According to the AVMA, this week-long holiday aims to “recognize the human-animal bond and increase public awareness of the value of veterinary medicine”.
Each day of the week focuses on different themes relating to educating pet owners about essential topics regarding responsible pet ownership. Let’s take a look at the daily themes for this year's National Pet Week 2023 chosen by the AVMA!
Choose well, commit for life.
Select the right pet for your family and lifestyle! The decision to get a pet means that you are ready, willing, and able to make a lifetime commitment to provide and care for them. Their health and welfare are now your responsibility, so before choosing a pet, ask yourself these questions: What are you looking for in a pet? Are you able to afford the costs of caring for your pet? Can you provide them with the amount of attention they may need? How long will you be away from them? Does your current living arrangement accommodate your pet’s needs? And more!
Socializing your pet with other animals and people around them is a great way to keep them happy. You can prepare your pet to be comfortable with other animals, people, activities, and places by fostering an environment that promotes positive interactions. For instance, allow them to engage in activities that encourage their natural behavior such as the use of puzzles and interactive toys.
Nutrition and exercise matter.
Nutrition and exercise play a big role in regards to your pet’s overall health and wellness. Make sure that they maintain a healthy weight through proper diet and exercise as it can have a positive impact on not only their physical health, but their mental and emotional health as well. This is the same for us as well! Exercise is highly important for both humans and animals, therefore, we should also be sure to get regular exercise too. Not to mention, this can help strengthen the human-animal bond! Consult with your pet’s veterinarian to advise you on proper nutrition plans for your furry friend.
Veterinary medicine and routine check-ups with your pet’s veterinarian and other vet technicians are required and highly essential if you want them to live a long, happy, and healthy life. Don’t wait until your pet becomes sick or injured to take them to the vet—have them visit regularly!
Travel with Care.
If you’re traveling with your pet, make sure to plan ahead and have everything you need to make it a safe and smooth ride not only for you but for your furry friend as well! For one, make sure that your pet is comfortable with traveling! Some may have issues due to age, illness, or temperament, therefore, always check with your veterinarian before leaving. While on the road, make sure they have their collar/identification tag with up-to-date information, as well as any other essential items such as food, water, bedding, medication, toys, etc. Most importantly, make sure wherever you are traveling to is pet-friendly!
If traveling by car, whether short or long distance, don’t leave your pet unattended! Many pets die from heat exhaustion every year due to being left in parked cars. Contrary to what you may think, cracking the windows does little to affect the rising temperature inside your vehicle, especially on hot days. If your pet does not need to go with you, consider leaving them at home! However, if you do plan on bringing them along, be sure that they are properly restrained and safe for the duration of the ride and after.
Plan and be prepared in case any emergency arises! With pets seen as part of the family, ensure that they are taken care of and included in your family’s emergency plan in case of a disaster—for example, a flood or fire. Have a pre-prepared pet evacuation kit that includes food and medicine, a first aid kit, sanitation products, important documents, travel supplies, as well as items that can help to comfort them. Most importantly, know how to identify your pet in case of separation.
Plan for their care: Give them a lifetime of love.
As your furry friend grows older, they are going to need extra care and attention so that they will be able to live an active, happy, and healthy life. Keep up with their diet and nutrition, mental and physical health, vaccination needs, and more to ensure they are being properly cared for. Older pets tend to see the veterinarian at least twice a year or more due to the possibility of diseases and early detection of other health issues, therefore, it is important that they receive regular exams that can improve their chances of living a longer and healthier life. Always consult your pet’s veterinarian for any concerns or recommendations that are tailored to your pet.
Pets play a huge role in enriching our lives not only emotionally, but mentally and physically as well. In a study conducted by the American Psychiatric Association, 86% of respondents stated that their pets had a positive impact on their mental health. Some of the benefits they cited included reduced stress and anxiety and the calming presence that their pet provides. There are various other health benefits of owning a pet as well! For one, having a pet increases our opportunities to go outside and exercise. As pet owners, we know how much our pets—especially dogs—love the outdoors, so oftentimes we find ourselves ending up at the park playing with them or regularly taking them for long walks around the neighborhood. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), not only does this strengthen the bond between us and our pets, but this bond is also linked to several health benefits such as decreased blood pressure, cholesterol levels, symptoms of PTSD, and more!
As of 2023, 66% of households, which is roughly 89.million homes, in the U.S have pets. Not to mention, the majority of dog owners (85%) and cat owners (76%) consider their pets to be family! Along with providing us with companionship, pets have a magic way of putting a bright smile on our faces no matter how we may be feeling at the moment. They are nonjudgmental, show us affection, and provide us with comfort and support when we need it most. Overall, our fur babies are truly the best!
This week, and every day for that matter, Bruno’s Place encourages you to celebrate and cherish your purrfect pets! Our pets are always there when we need them, so why not do something special to show our appreciation for the unconditional love and loyalty they provide for us? After all, we want our pets to live the happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives they deserve!
Here are 10 ways that you can celebrate your PAWsome pet this week!
- Go for a walk, hike, or jog with your furry friend! Consider taking your pet for a walk through the neighborhood or simply just letting them outside to enjoy the feel of fresh breeze ruffling their fur.
- Adopt a new pet or volunteer at an animal shelter.
- Treat your pet! Whether it be to a new toy or spoiling them with their favorite meals or snacks.
- Donate to an animal charity of your choosing!
- Make an appointment with your pet’s vet and verify that they are up-to date on care and are in good standing.
- Consider purchasing from brands that support animal welfare causes.
- Spend some quality time with your pet, whether it be playing a game with them, cuddling on the couch, or visiting a dog park!
- Pamper them with a grooming session or take them to a pet spa.
- Go on a road trip with your furry companion!
- Share your favorite pet pictures or stories on social media using the hashtag #NationalPetWeek