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Doggie Day Fair 2

Well-Fed, Well-Nurtured: A responsible pet ownership campaign

In the Philippines, there are about 9 million households currently owning at least one pet dog or cat — and this increases every year. With this, there’s also an increase in pet-friendly establishments, as well as an increasing appreciation for health and wellness for pets even to the point of pet humanization. I myself have been a witness to this… I still remember the time when pet salons were so difficult to find that we always end up having our dogs groomed at the vet. But now, almost everywhere you’ll find shops and stores offering pet pampering services. Unfortunately, even with an increase awareness of caring for pets, there are still a lot of owners who still feed their pets leftovers or table scraps and neglect to provide veterinary care.

To address the need of educating pet owners with proper pet care, the Pet Food Institute (PFI) and the Veterinary Practitioners Association of the Philippines (VPAP) collaborated for a responsible pet ownership campaign: Well-Fed, Well-Nurtured.

Under the Well-Fed, Well-Nurtured campaign, PFI and VPAP will raise awareness on proper nutrition and regular veterinary care. Although there are more elements in responsible pet ownership, these two are most often than not neglected by most pet owners. Feeding table scraps may appease the guilt brought on by the adorable begging of your pet, but this won’t be beneficial to him in the long run. Eating table scraps can make your pet feel full, but chances are, the food you’re feeding him are probably lacking in vitamins that he needs. Or worse, it might not even be safe for him to eat (there are human food that are even poisonous to our pets!).

Now, with regards to seeking vet care… Well, I’ve had my say in this already. I myself have been frustrated with some pet owners who would rather “self-medicate” their pets and seek answers on the internet instead of consulting a vet. It’s really disappointing that a lot of owners would skimp on veterinary care, when in the first place they should have known that vet care comes with the responsibility of owning a pet.

The “pillars” of responsible pet ownership shared by PFI and VPAP are enumerated below. This was shared to us during the campaign’s launch, and I figured you guys might find this interesting and informative as much as I did!

Regular veterinary care

  • Veterinarians are highly trained doctors who are qualified to examine pets, treat illness, and answer questions on pet care.
  • The veterinarian will check the pet for worms, give necessary inoculations, make certain the pet is healthy, and advise on future veterinary care such as checkups.

Proper nutrition and diet for pets

  • Veterinarians and animal nutritionists agree that table scraps are not balanced meals for pets and are deficient in nutrients. Adding scraps to a balanced diet often adds extra calories which can be detrimental to your pet’s health.
  • Wide assortment of commercial pet foods fully formulated for all stages of pet growth to provide a well-balanced diet for pets.

Exercise

  • Walking and playing with pets is good exercise and healthy activity to do together.
  • Remember to walk dogs on a leash, and be sure to scoop up after them.

Grooming

  • Bathe pets and trim hair and nails regularly.
  • Keep pet’s sleeping, “bathroom” and playing areas clean to avoid disease and parasite infection.

Training

  • Helping your pets become well-behaved companions is a part of responsible pet ownership.
  • Cats and dogs can be trained to understand a number of commands and be socialized so they are good family members and get along with other members of the community.
  • Pet owners may wish to seek advice from an expert on how to train a pet.

I’m honestly hoping the best for this campaign. Pet owners should be aware that owning a pet is a responsibility — we are responsible for a creature’s life, his health and his well-being. It goes beyond having him groomed regularly, or dressing him up. It’s also about making sure he eats a healthy, balanced diet and gets regular veterinary checkup. Being aware of proper pet care can help our pets live longer, healthier lives… And this is only possible if we pet owners understand the role we need to play to provide our animal companions proper care.


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