Include a Pet in Your Life

One of the most enjoyable and rewarding hobbies is to open your home and hearts to include a pet as part of your family. With over 296 million people in the US, some reports show over 52 million dogs and 64 million cats are counted among us.

But statistics can only scratch at the surface. We often divide ourselves into groups dog people, cat lovers, and others.

Dogs and cats are part of the family coming with many of the tidings that doting parents bring on their own children. Pet gifts during the holidays are big business with the gift giving reaching extravagant proportions for some animals. Bringing new meaning to “you lucky dog!”

For those who love the outdoors and are in areas of the country that are horse friendly, consider yourself lucky. Horse fans realize why in the Old West they shot people for horse stealing.

For a somewhat different approach, aquariums offer surreal beauty with fish of magnificent colors, sizes and shapes. Underwater scenes are out of this world and are an easier way to step into the responsibility of owning pets, especially for children.

Taking on an animal as a pet is a huge responsibility, sometimes at significant cost. Don’t take it lightly and do your research. Consider the Animal Rescue and local animal shelters to help you in adopting a pet.

Even if you don’t want to own a pet, you can enjoy animals through trips to zoos, animal photography and appreciating and supporting nature. Also, collecting stuffed animals and animal figurines are favorite hobbies.

We are stewards of the land and are responsible for not only our own actions but for the survival of all animals and the state of nature.

Choosing to include an animal in your life is an excellent way to enhance your life’s enjoyment and to support our (sometimes furry) friends who are looking for a good home and loving family.

When considering a new best friend for your life, you’ll quickly think of pet stores. But please consider various animal rescue services to help find a home for an animal in need. Also, many of these organizations are asking for your support. So please consider these worthy causes. And, don’t forget to search for local animal shelters.

Animal Rescue Resources:

Hot Weather Animal Care

Don’t forget “Man’s Best Friend” during the hot, humid summer days. A few common sense precautions can mean the difference between life or death for your beloved pet.

  • Animals, like humans, need to be protected from sunburn. Shaved, sensitive areas should be protected by either a specially prepared animal sunscreen or by using a baby sunscreen. Be sure to protect the tips of the ears, top of the nose, and anywhere the fur is thin. Check the ingredients in any sunscreen you use on your pet as certain ingredients can be toxic if ingested. If in doubt about any ingredient, check with your veterinarian.
  • The sun is at its hottest between noon and 4 pm and people are advised to be extra careful during these hours. The same holds true for animals. Walk your dog in the early morning or early evening hours. Cooler temperatures during these hours will provide cooler pavements and help prevent footpads from blistering from the hot pavement. Also, it’s a good idea to slow your pace in extreme heat so your animal doesn’t overheat.
  • Always have fresh water available for your pet. Do not let them drink ice water as it can shock their system. Water should be cool and clean. Never let them drink from puddles.
  • Never leave pets in parked cars. Temperatures can rise to 120 degrees within minutes, even in the shade, and heat stroke may occur.
  • Fertilizers and insecticides can be fatal to an animal if ingested. Be extra cautious with your pet during lawn care seasons.
  • Be sensitive to your dog’s reaction in the summer to heat, large crowds, and noises (fireworks etc.). If the animal seems stressed out at a summer concert or fair, it’s better to leave the pet home in a familiar environment.
  • Always be sure to have a collar and identification tags on your pet.