6 Key Aspects of Responsible Pet Ownership 

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We love our pets like family because, well, they are family. They hold a special place in our hearts and homes, making it our responsibility to provide them with the care that they need to lead happy and healthy lives.  

But what exactly does it take to be a responsible pet owner? Keep reading to find out!  

Commitment 

Responsible pet ownership is a commitment to a pet’s care and well-being throughout their life. 

Thanks to advances in veterinary care, many pets can live well into their golden years. This commitment involves not only a willingness to take on the financial responsibility of pet ownership (e.g., food, veterinary care), but also a willingness to adjust your lifestyle, daily routine, and home to accommodate your pet. 

Training 

A well-trained pet makes life easier for everyone. Training includes socialization, obedience training, house training, and leash training.  
If that sounds like a lot to you, you’re right. Training a pet requires plenty of time, patience, and dedication. In the end, though, you’ll have a well-behaved pet that understands what it means to be your loving and loyal companion.  

Health and Veterinary Care 

Your pet depends on you to keep them healthy. Find a veterinarian with whom you feel comfortable and work with them closely to stay on top of your pet’s care. 

Here’s a list of some basic veterinary care needs for your pet:

  • Annual wellness visits 
  • Flea & tick control 
  • Heartworm prevention 
  • Vaccinations 
  • Spay/neuter

Veterinary care can get expensive. But cutting corners to save money can negatively affect your pet’s health and lead to costly veterinary bills in the future. Pet Insurance can make veterinary care more affordable.  

In addition to veterinary care, a proper diet and regular exercise are necessary to keep your pet healthy. Your veterinarian can help you select the best diet for your pet and give you tips on how to keep your pet active, such as taking daily walks and having regular playtime.  

Following Local Ordinances 

Local ordinances for pets are in place to keep pets and people safe. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, examples of these ordinances can include registering your pet, maintaining a current rabies vaccination, cleaning up your dogs waste, and keeping dogs on leashes in public spaces.  

Speak with your veterinarian if you are unsure about the animal ordinances where you live.  

Enrichment 

A bored pet can lead to an unhappy pet, and an unhappy pet can wreak havoc in your home. Physical and mental enrichment keeps your pet happily occupied and boosts their overall health. 

Enrichment can be tailored according to your pet’s health and personality7. For example, a vigorous game of fetch is great for active, high-energy dogs. A food puzzle toy is perfect for pets who spend a lot of time alone and may experience separation anxiety.  

Safe Environment 

When your pet feels safe in their environment, they can relax and be a good companion to you. 

A safe environment should include:

  • Comfortable bedding
  • Space for privacy
  • Protection from harsh weather 

Consider Pet Insurance

Part of being a responsible pet owner is also ensuring that your pet is protected from accidents and illnesses.  Investing in a pet insurance policy may be able to help.  

Protect your Pets

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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.

2 Provided all terms of the policy are met. Application is subject to underwriting review and approval. Like most insurance policies, insurance policies issued by IAIC and MetGen contain certain deductibles, co-insurance, exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force. For costs, complete details of coverage and exclusions, and a listing of approved states, please contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC.