Although May is the Official Be Kind to Animals Month, consider being kind to animals all year-long.
Here are some suggestions for things you can do to show kindness to you loved companion and other animals!
Devote at least 15 minutes twice a day giving undivided attention to your pet. Let the answering machine take a message. Volunteer to bathe dogs at local animal shelter one day a month. Donate old towels, blankets, and pet toys to your local animal shelter. Or make a trip to the pet supply store and buy bags of food, collars, leashes, and toys to drop off at the shelter. Cut plastic rings from six-pack sodas and beers into tiny pieces before putting in recycle bins. These connected rings can choke birds and animals. Scoop out litter once a day and wash the litter box once a week in disinfectant. You like clean toilets; so do your fastidious felines. Hate poop-scoop duty? Spend extra money for a motorized automatic cleaning litter box that needs your attention only once or twice a month, depending on the number of cats in your home. Take your dog to a pet pampering spa once a year, perhaps on its birthday. Spay or neuter your dog or cat, the sooner, the better for your pet's health. They can be safely altered as early as 12 weeks of age now. You don't have to wait until 6 months anymore to do your small part to address pet overpopulation. Buy a pet ramp to help your ailing or aging dog or cat get into your vehicle or onto your bed or furniture without jarring its joints.
May 7th-14th : National Pet Week
More than half of US households own pets. They offer companionship, with psychological, emotional, and social benefits. Pet owners receive health benefits, such as lower blood pressure, and increased longevity after heart attacks. Some pets actually 'work' for their owners and the public by helping those with disabilities, and functioning as rescue and herding dogs.
During National Pet Week, celebrate the difference your pet makes in your life. This is also a special week to remind you to provide proper health care for your loved companion. May 7th-13th : Be Kind to Animals Week
During May, hundreds of animal shelters across the country hold special events to raise awareness about the roles animals play in our lives. The organizers of Be Kind to Animals Week suggest the following ways for you to make a difference:
Donate: Your local animal shelter can benefit from your donations in many different ways. Donations you may want to consider are bleach/laundry detergent, pet food, or your time. Contact your local shelter to see how you can help!
Report animal abuse: You can help an animal in trouble. Immediately report animal abuse and neglect to your local humane agency.
Volunteer at your local shelter: Shelters often need volunteers to help not only dealing directly with the animals, but in areas such as administration, community outreach, or off-site adoptions. Contact your local shelter to see how you can volunteer.
Teach children how to be kind to animals: Children love to learn about animals. Take time to teach them how to care for pets and wildlife. Tours of your local animal shelter and nature hikes are just a couple of fun ways for children to learn.
Encourage others to adopt their next pet from a shelter: Great companion animals of all types are available at your shelter. From dogs to cats, and puppies to kittens, to rabbits, guinea pigs, and hamsters, your local shelter has a pet that will fit you. Not only will you gain a friend for life, but the pet you adopt will too!
Create a space for wildlife in your own backyard: Plant trees and shrubs to give birds a place to hang out. You could also place a bird feeder or birdbath in the area, as well as hummingbird or butterfly habitats.
May 20th – 26th : National Dog Bite Prevention Week
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 60 percent of the 4.7 million people who are bitten each year are children. Other categories of people who are frequently attacked include elderly folk and delivery people. The increasing number of dog bites has led the CDC to label dog bites as “epidemic”). Fortunately, most bites are not fatal. About 10 to 20 people die each year as a result of dog bites.
There may be many reasons why dogs may bite: Dogs who have not been properly socialized to other people. Dogs who are not supervised or safely confined. Dogs who are not neutered. Dogs who receive little attention and handling. Protect Territory Establish Dominance
Although particular breeds of dogs are often accused of being most likely to bite, other characteristics are better predictors of canine biting behavior. For instance, dogs who have not been spayed or neutered are three times more likely to bite. The American Veterinary Medical Association suggests that the first step you take to prevent your dog from biting is to have her/him spayed or neutered. Proper socialization, supervision, humane training, and safe confinement are also important components of responsible dog ownership and bite prevention.
Regardless of size or breed, all dogs can bite if provoked. Responsible pet ownership is the key to reducing the likelihood of a dog bite and can enhance the owner/dog relationship. There is no such thing as a bad breed of dog. All dogs can bite if provoked. Safety to tips to help prevent dog attacks Be cautious around strange dogs and treat your own pet with respect. Never approach a strange dog, especially one who's tied or confined behind a fence or in a car. Be cautious around strange dogs. Always assume that a dog sees you as an intruder or potential threat. If a dog knocks you over, roll into a ball, cover your face and stay still. Never turn your back on a dog and run away. A dog's natural instinct in this situation is to chase and catch you. Don't disturb a dog while it's sleeping, eating, chewing on a toy, or caring for puppies. If a dog approaches to sniff you – remain still. In most cases, the dog will go away when it determines that you're not a threat.
If you encounter a potentially aggressive dog, never scream and run. Remain motionless, hands at your sides, and avoid eye contact with the dog. Once the dog loses interest in you, slowly back away until he is out of sight. Do not touch a dog without allowing it to see and sniff you first. Children should never approach a dog unless supervised by an adult.
Children are the most frequent victims of dog bites, parents and caregivers should:
Never leave a baby or small child alone with a dog. Be on the lookout for potentially dangerous situations. Teach young children, including toddlers, to be careful around pets. Teach children not to approach strange dogs and to ask permission from a dog's owner before petting it.
If you are bitten Control bleeding and wash the area of the bite with soap and water. Seek medical attention immediately. Since serious dog bites can cause scarring, ask emergency room personnel for a plastic surgeon certified by The American Society of Plastic Surgery (ASPS). This ensures that the doctor is uniquely qualified to perform reconstructive and cosmetic procedures on the face and all areas of the body. Report the bite to your local public health department, animal control agency, or police. Provide an accurate description of the dog, the circumstances surrounding the bite, and the dog owner's identity, if known.