!Header Logo

Animals First + Veterinary Hospital, Urgent Care & Wellness Center

!Give us a call button

Call Now! 856-858-0551 Request an Appointment

!Call Icon

Tips From A Cherry Hill, Nj Veterinarian: Top Aspects Of Responsible Pet Ownership 

February 1 2024

February is Responsible Pet Ownership Month. This is an umbrella topic, one that contains many important elements. Having a pet is fun and beneficial, but there’s a lot more to it than filling your furry pal’s bowl and patting them on the head when they do something cute. A local Cherry Hill, NJ vet goes over some of the elements of responsible pet ownership in this article.

What Is Responsible Pet Ownership?

Responsible pet ownership, as the name suggests, entails taking good care of your furry friend. This applies to all animals, from the tiniest pet mouse to bigger animals. When you adopt an animal, you’re taking responsibility for that pet’s life and well-being. That’s a huge responsibility! 

What Does A Responsible Pet Owner Do?

Providing good food, suitable shelter, and clean water are just the beginning. There are many aspects of good pet care. We can’t delve into every one of them here, but we can touch on the main ones. Here are some of the big ones:


Pets are very intuitive, but they don’t know what is and isn’t safe for them. A simple mishap, such as playing with or eating something dangerous, can have deadly consequences. Petproofing is a must. This will look a bit different, depending on what kind of pet you have, so ask your Cherry Hill, NJ vet for more information.

Another element of this would be keeping your pet secured. We advise keeping cats indoors, and keepings dogs either on leashes or in fenced areas at all times.


Responsible pet owners make sure that their animal companions are comfortable at all times. That entails providing clean shelter or bedding, climate control, and, in some cases, lap space. (Cats, of course, are skilled at getting comfortable in some very odd places and positions, but that’s beside the point.) 


Some pets need more help in this area than others. Cats, for example, usually handle this on their own, while dogs need us to help them out. Keeping up with your pet’s beauty care won’t just keep them looking and smelling good: it also keeps them comfortable, and can help ward off things like skin problems and even parasites.


Pets need entertainment, just as people do. It’s very important for pet owners to understand the importance of enrichment and stimulation. Pets get bored with nothing to do all day but stare at the walls. Keeping your furry friend entertained will go a long way towards keeping them happy, and can also help prevent or reduce many behavioral issues. For instance, dogs that are bored often amuse themselves by getting into mischief. Fido may chew your cushions or dig up your garden, just for something to do. Cats may seem to see boredom as a life goal, rather than a drawback, but they also need to satisfy their urges to pounce, scratch, and investigate things.


We really couldn’t talk about responsible ownership without discussing commitment. Adopting a pet means making that animal a forever promise, and being committed to caring for them for their entire life.

What Should A Responsible Pet Owner Avoid?

There are many ‘don’ts’ to being a pet owner. For instance, we always advise against using negative reinforcement, or punishment, to train pets or handle behavioral issues. Another common pitfall is ignoring or dismissing warning signs of illness, such as vomiting, weight loss, bad breath, or skin problems.

Why Is Visiting My Cherry Hill, NJ Veterinary Clinic Important For Responsible Pet Ownership?

At the end of the day, good pet care really entails keeping pets healthy and happy. We’ll get to the happy part later, and start with health. Proper veterinary care is crucial! Everything your veterinarian does is important in some way. For instance, vaccinations protect against and prevent the spread of dangerous diseases, such as rabies, while parasite control keeps Fido and Fluffy free of worms, ticks, and other dangerous parasites. Spay/neuter surgery helps prevent unwanted litters, but also helps curb many behavioral issues. Fido and Fluffy will be much calmer after, and less inclined to acting up, spraying, or trying to escape.

Exams and screenings are also crucial, as they can help you and your vet monitor your pet’s condition. Catching something early can make a huge difference, as many conditions are best treated or managed when they are addressed early on.

Follow your veterinarian’s recommendations.

What Responsibilities Does A Cat Owner Have?

Kitties are very easy keepers, but to keep that motor going, you’ll need to keep Fluffy entertained and comfortable. Scratching posts allow your pet to indulge her need to keep her claws sharp. This is sometimes seen as bad behavior, but it’s actually an instinctive need that is key to cats’ survival in the wild. You’ll also need to provide your feline pal with comfy beds, a clean litterbox, and, of course, plenty of toys to bat under the couch. We also strongly recommend keeping your pet indoors.

What Responsibilities Does A Dog Owner Have?

Fido is certainly deserving of the title of Man’s Best Friend. He’s loyal, protective, affectionate, smart, and very, very fun. However, dogs really need a lot of care. You’ll need to keep your canine pal fit and active. The details of that will depend on what breed your pet is. Some dogs need an hour of vigorous exercise every day!

Training and socialization are also crucial. For training, we would recommend teaching your pooch at least basic obedience commands.

The most important ones are

  • Sit
  • Stay
  • Come
  • Heel 
  • Lay Down
  • Down
  • Leave It

Socialization is also key. This must be done while Fido is still a puppy. (An older dog can be somewhat socialized, but you can expect it to take longer. You’ll also need to be realistic. A dog that wasn’t properly socialized will probably never be that happy-go-lucky pup that loves everyone and everything, but he can learn to be well behaved around strangers.

How Do I Become A More Responsible Pet Owner?

At the end of the day, this would really boil down to knowledge, more than anything else. You don’t need to become a certified animal behaviorist, but it is definitely worth your while to do some research. Even if you’ve had pets all of your life, you’d be surprised at how much more there is to learn! Just taking a few minutes a day to peruse blogs and articles such as this one can make a huge difference in how you see, understand, and interact with your furry friend.

Don’t forget that your Cherry Hill, NJ veterinary clinic is also a great resource. In fact, it’s important to consult with your vet regularly about your pet’s health and care. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about things like diet, entertainment, and exercise.

What’s The Most Important Part Of Responsible Ownership?

We may be cheating a bit with this answer, but we’re going with TLC: tender, loving, care. Your pet’s health and happiness are both important, but you really can’t have one without the other. Make sure that your furry best friend knows they are loved and safe. That beautiful bond we create with our furry companions can be life-changing, but it needs to be nourished. Purrs and tail wags are important too!

Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? Has it been a while since your pet has gone to the vet? Contact us, your local Cherry Hill, NJ animal clinic, today.

!Single Blog Social Sharing Icons