Welcome to 2020! January is a time for fresh starts and new beginnings. It’s a month to walk your dog, change a pet’s life and rescue a bird.
All month long you can train your pet and celebrate a special anniversary for Seeing Eye Guide Dogs on January 29.
A list of January animal awareness days include:
National Train Your Dog Month. NTYDM is about keeping your dog happy, focused, and socialized. Training includes commands to keep you dog away from the dinner table, trained on leash commands and the most important of all: potty trained.
Your training should include fun times like teaching an older dog new tricks. Also create a “Chew toy corner” for your dog to enjoy ripping, chewing and slobbering over her favorite toys.
Walk Your Pet Month. Start off the new year with more walks for your dog. Together, you can enjoy the outdoors and get some regular exercise every day.
Best tips to avoid bad behavior when walking your dog: pay attention to her. Your dog knows when you’re texting or talking on the phone. Focus on praising her good behavior. Walking is a chance to bond with your dog.
Remember to pack treats to reward good behavior when training your dog. Also change your walking route to avoid boredom for you and your dog.
Winter months are dark early mornings and late afternoons. Think safety and add reflective tape on your jacket and a lighted collar or leash for your dog. Be safe and stay visible to traffic, dog walkers and cyclists.
Remember to bring water for you and your dog. Water is important on long walks and warm weather. Your dog can drink from your hands or carry a collapsible water dish or bottle attachment.
Adopt a Rescued Bird Month. If you’re looking for a feathered friend for your home, there are thousands of abandoned and homeless birds to adopt. Visit online adoption sites and learn about the many varieties of beautiful birds.
A few bird species include:
Caiques. These are small to medium sized, stocky looking parrots. They love to play and are energetic. Many are green, white and orange.
Caiques bond well with their owners, make good family pets (not for very young children) and are not excessively loud. Caiques can live up to 30 years.
Cockatiels. Cockatiels are good starter birds for your family. They are great with children and very gentle. Cockatiels can be taught to sing, whistle or sit on your finger. They need daily attention but are not as socially demanding as larger parrots.
Cockatiels come in yellow, white, gray, and a variety of patterns (pied, pearled, cinnamon, Lutino). They don’t make a big mess and live for 20 years or more .
Cockatoos. These are beautiful white to pink colored birds who love to ride on your shoulders. They range in size from small (bare-eyed and Goffins cockatoos), medium (sulfur crested cockatoos), and large (white umbrella and salmon-colored Moluccan cockatoos).
Cockatoos love companionship and cuddling. They form strong bonds with their bird parent. Cockatoos need more attention than other species of parrots.
But they can be destructive if they don’t have enough toys to constantly chew on. Cockatoos will scream and chew their feathers if you don’t give them enough attention.
Amazon parrots. These birds are medium to large parrots. They have green bodies tinged with yellow, orange, blue, and red. Their subspecies all have vibrant colors. These hardy birds are very smart, can talk, squawk loudly and love to chew.
Amazon parrots are extremely loyal, strong willed and aggressive. They are not good for families with small children. Amazon parrots can live for more than 50 years.
January 2: Happy Mew Year for Cats Day. This one-day celebration is another reason to give homeless cats a second chance and give a little extra attention to our furry friends.
In 3100 BC, the Egyptians treated cats as royalty. Cats were the most-prized possession of Pharaohs and highly esteemed families.
In 1982, “Cats” opened on Broadway and ran for 18 years. “Cats” the movie opened in 2019.
In 2009, “Crazy Cat Lady” became a reality in an article written about women who display an extreme amount of affection for their kitties.
In 2016, the founders of Happy Mew Year for Cats Day, Tom and Ruth Roy, wanted cats to enjoy a very special New Year’s celebration all to themselves.
January 14: National Dress Up Your Pet Day. Pet parents love to dress up their pets. But if your dog is unhappy wearing clothing, don’t make her. Your dog’s outfit should not be tight or restrictive in any way.
Make sure there are no loose or small parts that can be a choking hazard. Watch you dog at all times when he’s wearing an outfit, and make sure he doesn’t overheat.
January 24: Change A Pet’s Life Day. You can change a pet’s life in many simple ways:
- Volunteer your time and energy to an animal rescue or shelter.
- Read a story to a shelter or rescue animal.
- Adopt, foster or sponsor a homeless animal.
- Share your social media about adopting or fostering homeless animals.
- Make a donation.
- Take time to teach your pet new tricks.
- Make sure she gets daily exercise.
Founder, Morris Frank, who was blind since childhood, started The Seeing Eye “to enhance the independence, dignity and self-confidence of people who are blind, through the use of specially trained seeing eye dogs.”
Here’s a video about Morris Frank and his first guide dog, Buddy, a German shepherd. Since 1929, The Seeing Eye school trains Seeing Eye dogs to guide blind people.
The Seeing Eye teaches blind people about the proper use, handling, and care of the dogs and conducts and supports research on canine health and development.
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OUR PETS AND PET PARENTS!
Thanks for stopping by,
Dr. Pet Mom
“If a dog jumps in your lap, it is because he is fond of you; but if a cat does the same thing, it is because your lap is warmer.”
–Alfred North Whitehead