In July 2001, Boulder, Colorado, became the first city in the country to replace all references to "pet owner" with "pet guardian." Since then, other cities have followed our lead.
So what does it mean to be a responsible pet guardian? We believe the adoption or purchase of a companion animal should be undertaken by individuals who are fully committed to responsible and compassionate care for the animal.
Companion animals enrich our lives in so many ways. The joy, the love and the companionship you share changes the lives of both you and your pet. Ensuring proper care of your best friend is the foundation of a long, happy and healthy relationship.
- Spay or Neuter your pet - he/she will be healthier and have fewer behavioral problems.
- Provide nutritious food and fresh water daily.
- Help your pet live a long, healthy life by providing regular preventative medical care:
- Prevent common diseases through routine vaccinations and testing.
- Prevent obesity through appropriate diet, feeding and regular exercise.
- Prevent dental disease with regular dental cleanings, brushing teeth, chewing activities and diet.
- Prevent poisoning by keeping your pet safe from common animal toxins. If you suspect your pet has been exposed to any toxic substance, seek immediate veterinary advice.
- Prevent further complications and seek medical care when your pet is ill or injured.
- Give your pet daily love, exercise and attention.
- Provide shelter with a comfortable, quiet, dry place to sleep or rest when needed.
Safety and Protection
- Use a collar with identification tag and microchip your pet.
- Keep your cat indoors or build him/her a secure outdoor cat enclosure, ensuring both he/she and local wildlife are safe.
- Don't declaw your cat - instead learn about trimming nails and give him/her a sturdy scratching post to satisfy the need to scratch.
- Respect and obey local animal control ordinances. Always keep you pet under voice and sight control. Do not allow your pet to run at-large.
- If you need assistance with food and/or veterinary care, there are resources available to help you.
When a pet is very sick or old, there is no easy answer to the question of whether living would be worse than a quick and painless death. Your pet's veterinarian should explain the problems and prognosis, give you an idea of how much he may be suffering, and help you make a decision.