February is a month right in the heart of winter. This month we’re celebrating how to train your dog, dental health for pets, and responsible pet ownership.
The biggest highlight of the month is the Westminster Kennel Club Annual Dog Show at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The shows runs from February 10 and 11.
Another cool thing about the annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is that each breed has an associated rescue group. Be there in person if you can, but the event will also be televised.
Month of February Events
Dog Training Education Month and Pet Dental Health Month: Dogs of any size needs socialization, house training, leash training, and more. Take time to train your doggy for a healthy and long lasting relationship.
Dog training can be an obedience class, trip to a new dog park, teaching your pet a new trick or helping her be a good doggy.
National Cat Health Month: February is also the month to take care of your cat’s health. Care includes regular dental cleaning, watching your cat’s diet and physical and mental stimulation.
Obesity in cats is a common problem with 58% of cats overweight or obese. Remember that obesity often leads to diabetes, heart and lung diseases, arthritis and constipation.
Review your cat’s vaccination history, an important treatment for life-threatening diseases like Feline Leukemia and Rabies. But vaccinations may not be needed if your cat is 100% indoors and has limited exposure to transmittable diseases.
Dental care for your cat is a must. One source estimated that over 80% of pets in the U.S. have gum disease by age three. Dental disease is preventable if your take care of your cat’s teeth and gums. Regular dental care is a true lifesaver.
Responsible Pet Owners Month: Celebrate responsible pet parenting and highlight the well-being of your pet in February. One tip includes regular physical exercise for you and your pet.
Other tips include watching your pet for signs of stress, boredom, sadness, anger, fear and other troubling behaviors. Changes in behavior can signal an illness. Check with your veterinarian as needed.
A final pet responsibility is to update your pet’s identification tag and microchip information. ID tagging is aligned with a pet disaster preparedness plan for your pet’s safety.
For example, during the Depression years of the 1920s, New York City’s ASPCA recorded over 300,000 stray animals per year. Sterilization practices for livestock already existed, but spaying and neutering for cats and dogs was not available until the 1930s.
The 1960s spurred the first low-cost spay and neuter clinic in Los Angeles. The benefits of S&N were promoted as an animal welfare concern.
By the 1970s, the ASPCA required sterilization for all adopted animals. Shelter intake rates dropped. The feral cat trap-neuter-release (TNR) programs appeared in the 1990s.
Today’s No Kill Movement is popular and stimulated the growth of animal rescues and shelters.
Week of February Events
February 7 through 14: Have a Heart for Chained Dogs Week. A sad sight is seeing a doggy on a chain. Some pet parents can’t afford a fence and think a dog on a chain is safe.
Maybe a better alternative is to take your dog to the dog park and take several walks during the day for exercise.
The last time I say a dog on a chain was last month. I took a walk on a sunny windy morning and ended up on a side street. As walked up the hill I noticed something sitting in a front yard.
I saw a tail wagging and walked over to meet Yoshi, a five-year-old Pekingese. Her pet mom was nearby, standing on a covered porch. “She’d let you pet her all day. She’s so spoiled!” said her dog mom. I was happy to meet you Yoshi – but didn’t like to see her on the end of a chain.
February 23 through 29: National Justice for Animals Week. The Animal Legal Defense Fund founded the National Justice for Animals Week to bring awareness to animal abuse. ALDF hopes to encourage people to report animal abuse to law enforcement, and work in their communities to protect abused animals.
No need to rehash stories of animal abuse here. We know the horrors of dog fighting, puppy mills, animals maimed by humans, or abandoned and neglected animals.
Please visit websites like Core Paws, a group helping hard-to-place animals.
Thanks for stopping by!
Dr. Pet Mom
“There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.”