As if we needed another reason to celebrate the beautiful month of May, it is National Pet Month here in the United States (in the UK, the festivities happen in April), a month long celebration of companion animals meant to raise awareness of the many benefits of living with animals and being a responsible animal caregiver. While we prefer the term companion animal, we are thrilled to share the message of National Pet Month, that animals make our lives better in so many ways, and they deserve to be honored.
Animals enhance our lives in myriad ways. They show us unconditional love, help reduce our stress levels, and keep us from feeling lonely to name just a few of the benefits of living with animals. In return for all these benefits, our companion animals do not ask for much. They just want us to take care of them and show them some love. When we commit to sharing our lives with animals, we get so much more than we give, but we also need to remember to honor that commitment by treating our companion animals with respect, dignity, and care. We need to spend time with them, feed them healthful food, provide them with all the things they need, including bedding and toys, and keep them healthy by maintaining a regular schedule of veterinary visits. And most importantly, we need to understand that the commitment we make to our animals is for life.
Whether you are lucky enough to live with companion animals or just understand the important roles they play in the world, there are several ways to celebrate National Pet Month and share your love of animals with others.
Spread the word about the importance of animals in your life with your social media network. Share a cute or funny story about your animal companion, accompanied, of course, by adorable photos, with the hashtag #nationalpetmonth to help get the word out about this celebratory month and encourage others to see how full animals make our lives and how wonderful it is to be an animal caregiver. Be sure to share tips and tricks from living with your own animal companion as well as all the great memories you share with them. This way, when your heart-melting photos entice your friends to bring an animal into their lives and the joy it’ll bring.
Consider supporting your local animal shelter with a donation of time, money, or needed goods. Most shelters rely on volunteers to keep doing their amazing work of keeping animals safe until they are adopted into a loving home. The shelters will always welcome help and typically provide wishlists of much needed items on their websites making helping out as easy as placing an online order and having it sent directly to the shelter. If you are able to volunteer your time, call the shelter to find out what you can do to best help them save animals.
Show Your Animal Some Extra Love
While you love your companion animal every day and surely show her how much with cuddles and care, take some time this month to do something special to show them how much you appreciate their impact on your life. People who live with animals tend to be healthier and less stressed, and that alone is reason to celebrate your animal with some extra attention, a few new toys and treats (like our No-Hide® Chews), and some additional fun and games. Consider learning a few animal massage techniques and treat your companion to a relaxing “spa” treatment.
Share Your Home with a Shelter Animal
If you have the space in your home and heart and if you have the time to devote to caring for a new animal, then consider adopting an animal from a local shelter. Bringing a companion animal home from a shelter can make both of your lives better. Just be sure that you have the appropriate resources and time available to help the animal transition and live well in your home. Too many animals are in shelters because things with their initial adopters did notwork out as the people imagined and the animals ended up surrendered to the shelter or, even worse. Adopting from a shelter gives an animal a second chance at life. If you can’t commit to adopting right now, fostering is always an option. You can help the shelter help more animals than they have space for and give the animal a comfortable place to live while awaiting their forever home.
There are so many ways to celebrate your companion animal during National Pet Month this May. How do you plan to spread the word and show the love?