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When choosing to add a pet to the family, you may spend more time focusing on the joy and happiness you expect your new pet will bring. While pets certainly deliver happiness and joy, they also come with a set of obligations that everyone MUST consider.


When adopting your pet, you should commit to caring for them their entire lives. This could be twenty years! As a pet owner, you are responsible for caring for your pet daily. Who can care for your pet if you go on vacation or circumstances prevent you from being able to do so yourself?  You should be willing to invest the time, effort and money to work through any behavioral or health challenges that will arise.



Animal overpopulation is a real issue in our country. Responsible pet ownership includes preventing your pets from reproducing by getting them spayed or neutered.


Behavioral issues are the number one reason why animals are surrendered to shelters, so training and socializing our pets is essential.  A dog that hasn't been trained is harder to control.  This is dangerous for your dog, yourself, other people, and other animals.  Training is an essential part of owning a dog and can be started at any age. Training builds confidence, provides mental stimulation and strengthens the human-animal bond.



Your pets will need continuous access to clean water, healthy and nutritious food, and shelter from the elements.  A pet should live in your home and not outside. Cats and dogs will live healthier, happier, more rewarding lives when they are treated as full members of the family.  If you don't want a pet in your home, then you should not get a pet.



Regular health care is key to helping your pet live a long and healthy life. It’s best to establish a relationship with a veterinarian to help keep you on track with regular check-ups and vaccinations. Your veterinarian can also guide you on how to address your pet’s hygiene and grooming needs, as well as tackling seasonal issues like fleas, ticks and worms.


Regular exercise is necessary to keep our pets' muscles strong, their hearts healthy, and immune systems more resilient. Regular exercise also provides the mental stimulation that keeps pets happy. Is your pet getting into trouble?  Chances are they are bored.  Take them for a walk, throw a ball, play with kitty toys. All this will help engage your pet physically and mentally.


Our pets are not possessions we own. They are companions who depend on us for their care. Giving pets affection and speaking to them in a loving manner is very important.  Pay attention to your pets’ emotional needs. Your pet needs your love.

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