January is National Train Your Dog Month
Training your dog is one of the biggest rewards for both owner and pet. It strengthens your relationship, helps establish rules, and encourages proper behavior. Training your dog may protect him or her from dangerous situations. Take time during January to try new tricks or improve old ones. It’s never too late to start training!
The Last Tuesday in February is World Spay Day
Brought to you by the Humane Society of the United States, World Spay Day encourages owners to spay or neuter their pets. “Fixing” your pet limits the number of animals that might end up in shelters, on the street, or in illegal and cruel situations. It also encourages other potential pet owners to adopt from local shelters instead of buying from a private party. Check out local veterinarian clinics in your area to find an affordable option for you and your dog.
March has National Pet Poison Prevention Week
Keep your pets safe by doing your homework! Research what kinds of chemicals and substances in your home that are poisonous to your pet. Make a sweep of your home, inside and outside, to ensure that your dog cannot get ahold of anything dangerous. Make sure you have an emergency number in your phone in case your dog does get to something. Acting quickly, learning the signs, and trying to prevent exposure can save your dog’s life.
April 30 is National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day
Thinking of adding to your family? Thousands of pets across the country are in shelters, waiting for homes of their own. Like any pet, they deserve a warm, safe place with people who love them. Adopt a pet to save a life. Many shelters will waive fees on this day or hold some form of a fundraiser. Ask around to find out more!
May is Chip Your Pet Month
While chipping your pet does not guarantee he or she will return safely, it does increase the chances. Take time this month to chip your own pet, make sure your information is up to date for any current chips, or donate money to local animal shelters and veterinarian offices to help support others. Chipping can mean the difference between never seeing your pet again and a happy, wonderful reunion.
The First Full Week of June is Pet Appreciation Week
In June, set aside some time to show your pet how much you truly care. Play fetch, visit the dog park, take more frequent walks, buy some nice treats. Make sure to spend some time with your best friend and show him or her just how much you appreciate having a pet in your life.
July is National Lost Pet Prevention Month
On top of chipping, there are plenty of things you can do to prevent your dog from becoming another statistic. Consider that 10 million pets go missing every year. What can you do to make sure your dog doesn’t become one of them? Purchase an ID tag or make sure the information is current. Take extra precautions during Fourth of July—even the most well-behaved dog can become terrified and disappear on this holiday. Check doors, windows, gates, and other escape routes. Create a plan in case of emergencies, including a recent picture of your pet and the number for animal control.
Starting the First Sunday of August is International Assistance Dog Week
Where would we be without them? Assistance Dogs are supporters and make the days less difficult for those with physical, mental, and emotional disabilities. Consider donating money or volunteering your time to organizations that train and place Assistance Dogs.
The Second Sunday of September is National Pet Memorial Day
Created by the International Society of Pet Cemeteries, National Pet Memorial Day is a day for remembering and honoring the pets who have crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Loss affects people in many different ways, so take this day to do whatever makes you feel better: visit old pictures and videos, reminisce with family members and friends, or donate to local organizations in your pet’s memory.
October has National Pitbull Awareness Day
The Pitbull is one of the most misunderstood and mistreated dog breeds in history. Pitbulls are sweet, caring, goofy dogs who do not deserve the reputation as ruthless, violent, and dangerous. Fight BSL (Breed-Specific Legislation), inaccurate media reports, and educate others.
November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month
They are mature, full-grown animals with unique personalities, and they need homes with loving families. Senior pets have to compete with tiny puppies at the shelter, begging for someone to take them home. In many cases, they already know what it’s like to have a home. Many senior shelter animals were given up by previous owners when the owner moved, passed away, or could no longer care for the animal. Give a senior dog a second chance in the twilight years.
National Mutt Day is December 2 (also July 31)
Mixed breeds have many advantages over pure-bred dogs. Mutts are healthier, live longer, and usually cost quite a bit less than “pure” breeds. Adopt a mutt just before Christmas for a family member that you can love for a very long time. While dogs are common holiday presents, be sure you are ready to commit to a dog that requires constant attention for the rest of his or her life. Let a mutt prove to you that there is nothing wrong with mixed breeds!