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May is National Pet Month!

An Online Guide to Learning About the Goals of National Pet Month


May is National Pet Month!

Baby Girl Petting a Pug

Sean Murphy/Getty Images

May is National Pet Month, a time to reflect on the importance of pets and pet ownership.  Pets bring a lot of joy into people’s lives. However, like so many of life’s everyday joys, it’s easy to take pets for granted. Not this month, though! This month we’re going to use the computer to learn about National Pet Month and get some good ideas on how to celebrate it.

National Pet Month began over twenty years ago. It started in England, where it is celebrated in April instead of May. Pet Month, in both countries, has five specific goals. Let’s look at these goals and visit some websites that support them. National Pet Month exists to:

Promote the Benefits of Pet Ownership

Science can’t measure the happiness that a pet’s love brings to its owner. However, it can measure the positive effects that owning a pet has on a person! For instance, did you know that medicine is less effective in controlling blood pressure than pets are? Or that it has been proven that pets reduce stress? The Health Benefits of Pets is an excellent web page that examines these (and many more) facts about how owning a pet is actually good for you.

Support Pet Adoption

Every pet owner knows that their pet is not a possession – it is a family member!  So if you’re thinking about getting a pet, consider this: who better to share your love with than a creature with no family of its own?  The Online Pet Adoption Guide is a very useful web page that offers help to people who are considering adopting a pet. It includes links to resources like a personality quiz to see which dog might be best for you. The ASPCA website has a fantastic Adoption Page which provides plenty of information about adopting a pet, including a nation-wide database of dogs and cats looking for a loving home. Just enter your zip code and see who is out there waiting for you.

Promote Responsible Pet Ownership

The happiness and well being of a pet depends on how seriously the pet owner takes the responsibilities of ownership. It is important to consider the health needs of your animal. Are they eating right? Are they getting enough exercise? Are they overdue for a visit to the vet? Also, are you prepared for a pet’s unexpected injury? First Aid Tips for Pet Owners is a web page with valuable information about taking care of your pet in case of an emergency.  Another useful web page is Pet Care Checklist, which gives advice on how to make certain that your pets is being properly taken care in the event you have to travel without them.

Increase public awareness of services available from professionals who work with animals

 Let’s hear it for veterinarians! They perform a valuable service and its time that they got their applause. National Pet Month is a good time to recognize your vet’s good work. To get a real idea of just how much a veterinarian actually helps pet owners, visit Questions and Answers – Veterinary Medicine. This online resource provides answers to over 100 inquiries about pet health issues. Topics include: heartworm, seizures, proper grooming, chocolate toxicity, skin problems, fleas, and much more. 

Raise awareness of the role, value and contribution to society of service animals

If you believe that pets are simply for enjoyment, think again – they can provide valuable social contributions! Service animals are specifically trained to provide assistance to individuals with disabilities. The majority of service animals are dogs, however miniature horses are sometimes trained to guide people with visual impairments. Also, helper monkeys are trained to provide assistance for people with spinal cord injuries. Questions about Service Animals is a document by the U.S. Department of Justice which answers common questions about service animals and the rights of their owners. Finally, Creature Comforts is a very well written article about some of these extraordinary service animals and their owners.

Suggested Reading:


The Best Dogs for Kids

Pet Reptiles and Amphibians






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