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Responsible Pet Owners

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Last week, we shared a brief history of Responsible Pet Owners Month, celebrated every February. Today, we want to take Responsible Pet Owners Month further and discuss things that responsible pet owners DO NOT do.

Neglect Veterinary Care & Vaccinations

Veterinary Care Cats Yorktown Virginia

Responsible pet owners take their pets to the veterinarian approximately once a year. In many cases, pets may appear healthy enough to skip their yearly check-ups but we urge you to keep in mind that pets can hide illness very well.

Our dogs and cats also require annual dental checks to address dental pain or discomfort and prevent expensive dental procedures down the line. Pets also require vaccinations and necessary boosters. Just because your pet received puppy or kitten vaccinations, doesn’t mean they are protected from preventable pathogens. Speaking to your veterinarian about what vaccinations are locally mandated and which require additional doses will keep your pet healthy no matter where your adventures take you.

Leave Pets in the Care of a Novice

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Many pet parents are tempted to leave their pets in the care of friends and neighbors when working or traveling. They often consider non-professional pet care a budget-friendly option. Unfortunately, however, some friends and neighbors don’t take pet care as seriously as they should. As a result, they may cause pets unnecessary stress and discomfort.

Having a professional pet care provider care for your pet is always the best idea. Whether in-home pet care or high-quality boarding, pets always do best in the care of dedicated professionals that are trained to recognize and address signs of illness, distress, etc.

When you leave your pet in the care of a neighborhood kid, local college students, etc., you risk pet neglect or loss, damage to your home, and more. Trust us, we’ve seen and heard it all. Many of our clients come to us after trying to engage the help of a non-professional and learning to regret it.

Ignore Behavior Concerns

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Pet parents that ignore their pet’s concerning behaviors are putting their pets and others in the community at risk. Because our pets need boundaries, guidance, and training throughout their lives, training, and behavior modification are ongoing processes.

Pet parents that ignore problematic behaviors in the hopes that they will go away are failing their pets. Because most problem behaviors like snapping, lunging, barking, and other types of reactivity tend to escalate very quickly, an ignored behavior can prove dangerous, even life-threatening, if ignored.

Pet parents that are genuinely committed to their pets and take genuine responsibility for their pets’ needs and behavior. They engage the help of their veterinarian, trainer, etc. when they notice marked behavior concerns. Addressing the behaviors promptly ensures that the behavior is not caused by pain or discomfort, helps rule out illness, and addresses the behavior before it becomes a bigger issue.

pet sitting Yorktown Virginia

At Hearts at Home, we love to see pets thriving. Meeting pets’ needs is not only our job, it’s our vocation. When pet parents can’t care for their pets due to long workdays, family commitments, or travel, we step in to make your pets’ day. To learn more about our dog walking and pet sitting services in the Yorktown area and environs, contact us at or 757-745-9868.

We look forward to helping you be the most responsible pet owner you can be!

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