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Responsible Pet Ownership: A Veterinary Technician’s Guide

Published on January 18, 2019 by A. Rothstein

Responsible pet owners adopting a dogWhen you choose to make a pet part of your family, with the privilege of ownership comes a lot of responsibility. A responsible pet owner of a cat, dog, or multiple pets must know that this is a lifetime commitment.

Responsible pet owners have to make a monetary commitment to their pet’s care and a commitment of their time. Here are some factors to consider before adopting pets:

Where Responsible Pet Owners Find Pets

Adopting pets is always the best way to make a furry friend part of your family. Millions of dogs and cats are homeless each year because of irresponsible ownership. People allow their pets to have litters that they can’t find homes for. Owners who rent apartments that won’t accept animals may give up their pet, and many of them abandon the pet when they move.

The good news for pets is that there are thousands of caring people around the country who operate shelters and rescue groups. These people dedicate themselves to finding homes for as many pets as possible. Here’s what you need to know about sources for pet adoptions.

The primary difference between an animal shelter and a rescue is that shelters house the pets available for adoption in a single facility. Paid staff and volunteers operate the shelter. Municipal shelters are under the jurisdiction of a city or town and have regular hours of operation for people to visit and meet dogs or cats they’re interested in adopting.

Rescues keep pets that are available to foster or adopt in volunteer’s homes while they’re waiting for their forever home. A lot of rescues have non-profit status and can take donations to provide food, bedding, and help with vetting for the animals in their care.

Animal Shelters

At city or county shelters, animal control facilities, or police departments that run the shelters, the regulations for ownership may vary depending on the city and state in which the shelter is located. Some shelters require an adoption fee and valid identification to adopt a cat or dog. Some shelters may need a secondary form of identification as proof of residency.

Shelters usually require animals to be spayed or neutered upon adoption. Some shelters may neuter the animal before they’re adopted and include the price of the surgery in the adoption fee. Others may require the adopter to sign a contracts promising to spay or neuter their new pet within a specified period.

Adoptions from Online Groups

The most critical factor in considering adoption from an online group is to make sure that it’s a reputable organization. Sites like Adopt-A-Pet and Petfinder are two of the most well-known sites for adoptions and are the choice of thousands of responsible pet parents.

The only tricky part of adopting from an online group is deciding which of the many available pets to take. The first step is to click on “adopt a dog” or “adopt a cat.” Some sites even have a listing for other pets. Click on the link, key in your zip code, then start searching. When you find a cat or dog you can’t resist, click on the link that provides more information about their location.

Rescue Groups

Some rescues also use private boarding to house pets until they’re adopted. Rescues usually have social media pages where they can post photos and information about available pets. Potential adopters can meet pets are weekend adoption events or at local pet stores that hold events. The process of rescue adoption can vary depending on the group. Here are some guidelines.

You see a dog or cat you want to know more about, so you email the rescue and fill out an application online. The next step is to meet your furry friend at their next adoption event and decide you want the cat or dog to be part of your family. A volunteer from the rescue will conduct a home check, which is a standard procedure with a rescue group. Rescues need to make sure that people who are adopt their pets will be responsible pet owners.

As long as everything goes as planned, you’ll get a call from the rescue letting you know that the adoption is approved. The rescue group provides you with the immunization and sterilization documents. From then, arrangements are made for the rescue to deliver your new pet.

The Cost of Owning A Pet

According to the Animal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the average cost of owning a cat or dog for the first year is approximately $1,000. One-time costs of ownership include spaying or neutering,  a collar and leash, a scratching post and litter box for a cat and dog crates. After the first year, annual expenses include checkups and shots, food, toys, and treats. Other ongoing costs include emergency care, especially as the dog gets older. A responsible pet owner must understand the cost before adopting.

Items and Food to Buy

Responsible pet owners make sure their pets are comfortable in all kinds of weather. If you live in a climate that’s cold or wet, you’ll want your pets to have warm sweaters or insulated coats to protect them during the winter. Pets should stay inside when it’s too cold or too hot.

The food you buy should be high quality and not contain any artificial colors or additives. Your veterinarian can suggest food that is best for your dog’s nutritional needs and life stage. Many foods are specific to breeds or health issues. If you’re adopting a cat, you may want to consider a cat tree or condo.

Training Time and Expense

Training time and cost depends on whether your dog or puppy new to training. Most dog owners opt for group training sessions. Group sessions usually last between four and eight weeks. Group classes typically run between $25 and $100 per class. A private trainer can cost around $450 but can work well with dogs that have come from rescue situations.

Spending Time and Compassion

Our pets bring so much joy and show such love to their families, and they deserve the same in return. Pets, especially dogs, want nothing more than love and to please their owners. Pets help people to have a more positive outlook on life and can help us to live longer. There’s no better stress reliever than sitting quietly with your cat or dog and petting them. Responsible pet owners should always show their pet compassion because the pet looks to us to care for them.

Responsible Pet Care for Senior Pets

Being a responsible pet owner means that you must make critical decisions when your furry friend’s health begins to decline. Senior pets can live longer and more comfortably when you make sure they have regular checkups. Veterinarians recommend that responsible owners bring in their pets for check ups every six months, and more often if they have a chronic medical condition.

Did learning about responsible pet ownership interest you? Ready to start a program to become a veterinary technician? With an associate degree in veterinary technology, you’ll gain the knowledge and skills you need to start an entry-level career as a veterinary technician. Broadview University has been part of the community for more than 40 years, so we’ve developed connections that can help move your career forward. After completing our accredited degree program, you’ll be eligible to sit for the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE). Passing the VTNE allows you to become a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT), a designation that will give you a competitive advantage when you enter the job market.

Contact us today to learn more about becoming a veterinary technician and working in veterinary technology.

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