The following are a list of the top healthy choices for pet owners to make:

  1. Identification. Make sure your pet wears an identification tag with your address and phone number. New York State law requires owners to license all dogs, four months and older. Licenses provide identification and vaccination information and establish you as the legal owner.Microchip id tags can be implanted into your pet for permanent identification. Microchips are good back-ups to traditional collars and tags that may be removed or lost. If your pet is lost, and is turned into a shelter or veterinary hospital, it will be scanned for a microchip id tag. If the microchip has been registered in your name, you can be contacted.

    Remember: Even indoor pets can get out accidentally so make sure they have collars and tags.

  2. Your veterinarian knows best. Take your pet for regular check-ups and keep them up to date on their shots. Rabies vaccinations are required for all dogs, cats, and ferrets four months and older.
  3. Pet Sterilization has countless benefits for you, the city, and your pet. Sterilization or Spaying/Neutering:
    • Reduces unwanted litters
    • Helps control overpopulation
    • Reduces roaming in search of mates which, in turn, reduces the risk of fights, injury, poisoning, or collisions with vehicles
    • Reduces undesirable behaviors (eliminates the heat cycle and crying, prevents unwanted suitors, reduces mounting, stops spraying)
    • Eliminates the risk of testicular and uterine cancer, reduces risk of other medical problems (prostate cancer, breast cancer, mastitis)
    • Increases average lifespan for pet
  4. One of the best ways to keep your pet safe is Restraint. Always keep your pet, even cats, on a leash when you’re outdoors.
  5. To help prevent unwanted pet behaviors, Socialization and Training are a must. These practices will help your pet respond appropriately to other people and animals, and even help your pet fit into your home and lifestyle.
  6. One of the basic, but most important, principles of responsible pet ownership is Food, Water, and Shelter. Select food that is good for your pet and avoid people food and table scraps, which can be unhealthy for pets. Be sure to provide fresh water at least twice a day. In addition, your pet’s shelter and living space should be clean and dry, providing sufficient protection from weather.
  7. One of your pet’s favorite things is Exercise. Physical activity helps keep your pet happy, healthy, and fit. In addition, regular walks with your dog result in more favorable pet behavior – and are good for your health as well! Remember to play with your pet, too. It provides stimulation and enrichment and helps strengthen your bond.
  8. Don’t forget Grooming. Brushing and bathing your pet keeps it clean, while looking and feeling good.
  9. Always Obey Local Animal Ordinances.
  10. Finally, don’t forget Love and Affection. Pets need the attention of their owners to make them happier and better companions. Make sure that your pet it not isolated to one room in your house. Don’t keep your dog chained up outdoors for its own safety. Simply put, include your pet in your life!

Follow these simple guidelines, and you and your pet will be healthier and happier!