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May is National Pet Month, a time to celebrate and reflect on the joy our pets bring to our lives. Everyone loves their pets but not always aware of what their pet needs to keep them happy and healthy. Starting over twenty years ago, National Pet Month has five specific goals.  

  1. Promote the benefits of pet ownership. Science cannot measure the happiness a pet’s love brings to an owner. However, studies have shown that all pets, not just dogs, can lower heart rates and blood pressure as well as promote quicker recovery times from stressful events.
     
  2. Support pet adoption. Every pet owner knows that their pet is not a possession, they are a family member! If you are thinking about getting a pet, consider adopting from a local rescue or shelter. When selecting a pet, it is important to consider your family’s lifestyle. Many breeds such as Labradors, or Golden Retrievers require a lot of exercise and playtime, perfect for high energy homes or with kids. Pugs or Shih Tzus may be more laid back, great for people looking for a lap dog. Remember owning a pet is a commitment of love, attention, and responsibility. After adopting your new furry family member, schedule a check-up appointment for our Tampa Bay veterinarian to evaluate and recommend a lifelong health plan for them.
     
  3. Promote responsible pet ownership and care. Unfortunately, many owners only take their pets to a veterinarian when they are visibly ill or injured, not realizing regular check-ups are a vital part to maintaining a healthy pet. Pets are pleasing creatures that mask illnesses until they become life-threatening. At River Mill Animal Hospital, our Tampa Veterinarian recommends twice a year comprehensive exams and yearly bloodwork are important to detect early stages of disease before posing a serious threat. It is our responsibility as their owners to keep up-to-date with all their health needs.
     
  4. Pay tribute to service animals. There are many charities that pay tribute to service animals, such as animals injured in the line of duty, or retired. Service dogs range from those that help the blind, to dogs that accompany firefighters, police officers, and military personal. Their dedication to humanity is something that deserves recognition all year long, not just May! Consider donating or volunteering at one of these facilities.
     
  5. Pamper your pet! When you’re overworked it is easy to be frustrated with the responsibilities associated with taking care of pets. Take this month to reflect on what a positive impact your pet has on your life. Remember not to take them for granted! Give them an extra treat, make time for the dog park or schedule play dates! Remember to make them you’re their world.

Overall, preventative care is the easiest way for pets to live longer and healthier lives. National Pet Month is to remind people why it’s so important to care for pets routinely throughout the year. Give River Mill Animal Hospital a call today to set up your pet’s check-up.

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