What Are the Steps Needed to Become a Responsible Pet Owner?

Family walking their pet dog

Did you know that February marks the start of Responsible Pet Owners Month? But no matter what time of year it is we should all strive to be responsible pet owners. If you’re looking to bring home your first pet, or you’re an existing pet owner looking for tips, then this article is or you.

How to be a Responsible Pet Owner?

Recognize That Being a Pet Owner is a Life-Long Commitment

Family celebrates their dog's birthday

When bringing home a new pet, it’s important to know that you are making a life-long commitment. Therefore, considerations should be made to ensure that you are providing your pet with a good quality of life. These include factoring them in for any major changes in your life and budgeting for any expenses they may incur (such as food, vet bills, toys, litter, etc.).

Be sure that you can feasibly expand your family to offer all the pet’s comforts without excessive strain to your finances and lifestyle.

Research Your Pets’ Breed and Learn its Characteristics

Various dog breeds photographed together

Research breed characteristics when selecting or owning a pet. Animals, like people, have individual personalities and dietary/lifestyle needs. We spoke with Dr. Jennifer Sperry, veterinary advisor at Pets Plus Us, and she notes that “active people may prefer high-energy breeds, while those with a quieter lifestyle or limited space may opt for a “lap dog” or lower energy breed. She also recommends that you consider your family members’ allergies when choosing a pet.

Schedule Regular Visits to Your Veterinarian

Latin Female Owner Is Holding Her Cat In A Veterinary Clinic

The key for your pets to live a long and healthy life is regular check ups with a trusted veterinarian. This will help ensure you’re up to date with your pets’ annual shots, providing them with their medication and continuing to stay informed of any dietary or fitness regiment they need to be on. When researching your pet, ensure you are aware of any diseases or any hereditary conditions your pet may be prone to. Your veterinarian will be able to recommend a course of action if your pet becomes injured or ill.

Proper Identification

A dog pictured with their collar

Whether you choose to input a microchip in your pet or have a tag with your contact information on your pet’s collar, it’s important they have proper identification. This is to ensure that if your pet is lost, whoever finds them will be able to contact you.

Spay or Neuter your Pets

Female veterinarian doctor is holding on her hands a cat with plastic cone collar

When it comes to spaying or neutering your pets Dr. Sperry recommends that you spay or neuter your pets to help protect against some potentially serious health problems and behavioural issues associated with their mating instincts. Your veterinarian can help you decide when the best time will be to spay or neuter your pet. Spaying and neutering prevents unwanted litters, helps protect against some potentially serious health problems and may reduce some behavioral problems associated with their mating instinct.

Pet-Proofing your Home

A dog destroyed a couch

Before bringing a new pet home, you should ensure that the house is properly pet proofed. We’ve previously provided tips for keeping your pets safe, where we identified a few ways you can pet-proof your home. Some tips include placing medications, cleaning products and anything that is toxic onto high counters or in cupboards and containers that pets can’t open, installing childproof latches for cabinets, and using baby gates to keep pets out of hazardous areas. Also, make sure wires from computers, televisions and lamps are out of reach, and not dangling.

Consider Pet Insurance

Pet Owner and dog Talking with Veterinary Technician

Pet insurance serves to cover eligible medical expenses related to accidents or illnesses that affect your pet. It can help to offer financial relief for expensive veterinary bills and pet medication should your pet require emergency or ongoing medical care, making it worth considering. Talk to your insurance provider to help you find the right coverage options for your furry friend.

This blog was written by Pets Plus Us on behalf of Allstate Canada. This information has been provided for your convenience only and should not be construed as providing legal or insurance advice.

The information herein is summarized, the actual policy issued Terms and Conditions will prevail. All Pet Insurance plans have limitations and exclusions. Specific products, features, rates, and discounts may vary by province, eligibility, and are subject to change.

© 2023 All rights reserved. Pets Plus Us Pet Insurance policies are underwritten by Northbridge General Insurance Corporation, distributed by PTZ Insurance Services Ltd. & Société d’Assurances Collectives (Sodaco) Inc. in Quebec. Pets Plus Us Pet Insurance is available in all provinces and territories.