The 3 Principles of Responsible Pet Ownership

Volunteer Coordinator Amanda adopted Betty from SHS

There’s nothing like that feeling of bringing home your new pet for the first time. You are so excited to show them their bed, toys, and their food and water dish. The next few hours after getting home are strictly for playing with your new pet, seeing which name they respond to best, and walking them around the house so they get the lay of the land. You might be introducing them to the other animals in the house or showing them off on social media. All this excitement, sometimes the most important principles of pet ownership are forgotten. There are three key steps every pet owner should remember when bringing their new pet home for the first time.

ID your pet

According to, about 10 million pets go missing each year in the U.S Many of these lost pets don’t make it home. However, you can help reduce these odd by making sure that your pet is always wearing identification. Your pet ID tag should have the owner’s name, address, phone number with area code, your pet’s name and the phrase “microchipped” and/or “neutered” if possible.

As you can see, Betty has her ID tag in a visible spot with her name on the front and her owner’s information on the back.

Another way of identification is microchipping your pet; a microchip is a small device that goes under the skin and contains an ID number. VCA Animal Hospitals state that collars are often unreliable since they “break, fall off or get removed” so they encourage pet owners to ask their veterinarians about microchips.

Both types of identification will help ensure a happy reunion between you and your lost pet.

Spay or neuter your pet

According to The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), a neutered male pet will be healthier, happier, and better behaved and a spayed female won’t go into heat. Spaying and neutering might help with behavioral issues like urinary marking, mounting, and roaming.

There are many lifelong benefits of spaying and neutering. Overall, spaying and neutering prevents unwanted litters, which will help reduce overpopulation and transmitting diseases like rabies.

To schedule an appointment at Spokane Humane Society’s clinic: vet clinic – Spokane Humane Society.

Training and socialization

Puppy training classes will help them behave around other dogs.

Becoming a responsible pet owner is realizing that dog training classes aren’t just for your dog, they are for you too! These classes teach you and your dog trail etiquette, how to supervise children around your dog, and so much more.

Training improves communication, helping your dog calm down and feel less stressed. Training will help your dog trust its new owners which, in the long run, will ensure everyone’s safety. Training is very important because it can help your pets avoid behavior problems. Communication between owner and pet can prevent accidents like dog bites.

Socialization can benefit your animal in many ways: help teach your pet how to behave in different settings around other people and dogs, help your pet adapt to change, and your pet will be less likely to be fearful or anxious. Socialization will improve your pet’s behavior, adaptability, and confidence.

For more information about how to socialize your dog check out Socializing your dog | Animal Humane Society.

For more information about how to socialize your puppy and/or kitten check out Socialization of dogs and cats | American Veterinary Medical Association (