February is for Lovers…of Furballs

It’s that time of year again—everything’s draped in pink, purple and red, spotted with hearts, covered in chocolate and dripping with poetic rhymes. Yep, we’re coming up on Valentine’s Day. Rather than bemoan the sappiness of the occasion, we’ve decided to jump on the bandwagon and take the opportunity to declare our undying love to the ones who love us unconditionally…our pets.

Think about it: when was the last time your dog gave you that “Are you kidding me?!” look when you forgot to put the toilet seat down? Or when did your cat give you the silent treatment because you forgot her birthday? (That’s a trick question—you’ll never know why your cat gives you the silent treatment…it’s just what they do, but presumably not because they’re being passive aggressive 😉 Did your guinea pig ever refuse to snuggle because of a week-old text message from your ex?

Pets don’t hold grudges. They don’t keep score. They don’t really care where you’ve been or who you’ve been with all weekend long. They’re just glad you’re home, extremely appreciative of a full food bowl and always in the mood for a belly rub. So, it’s a good thing that February rolls around to remind us to take care of the ones who love us best.

February is Pet Dental Health Month

With all the heart-shaped boxes of chocolates flying off the shelves, dental health should be a concern this time of year. And although you won’t be sharing your sweets with your four-legged friends, their dental health needs some attention, too.

Just like with humans, your pet’s teeth and gums are indicators of their overall health. The presence of gum disease may be a warning sign that there’s inflammation somewhere else in the body (e.g. arthritis). Gum disease can also put your pet at risk for other serious health conditions, like heart disease. Loose teeth can affect your pet’s ability to eat, and without the proper nutrition, they may lose weight and become lethargic and their coat can lose its luster.

Your veterinarian can tend to your pet’s dental health needs, but dental checks are often not part of your pet’s annual exam. In order to fully examine the mouth and clean your pet’s teeth, your vet may recommend putting your furry friend under general anesthesia. Talk to your vet about scheduling a dental checkup and cleaning. Some offices even offer dental discounts in February.

February is Dog Training Education Month

Dog training is usually about making the life of the dog owner easier, but, really, a well-trained dog is a safe dog. Dogs that respond to commands like “Come” and “Stay” are dogs that can be kept out of the road, away from aggressive neighbors and out of a trash can that holds countless puppy poisons. And, the process of dog training gives you quality time with your fuzzy buddy…that and a rawhide bone are all Fido really requires for pure happiness.

If you haven’t invested time in training your canine, now’s the time to look into programs or people who can help you. If you need help finding a reputable program, talk to other owners you meet at dog parks or the waiting room at your vet…or your vet! Staff at adoption centers are excellent resources, too.

Give Yourself Some Props

February is also Responsible Pet Owners Month, so celebrate yourself and all you do to keep your pet happy and healthy! Treat yourself to a juicy steak, a long car ride with the windows open or a massage…and reflect on just how much you have in common with your pet.

If you aren’t a pet owner but want to be, Animal Humane and Watermelon Mountain Ranch have hundreds of animals that could be the newest member of your family. Since February’s all about the love, share yours with a special furry someone who really gets you.