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National Pet Month: Show your pets you care!

Our pets help us in so many ways—they are our guardians, our comfort, our exercise partners, and our playmates. They soothe our spirits and help us teach our children about curiosity, compassion, and our connection to the natural world. And in return they ask only our affection and care for their physical and emotional health.

Since 1981, the first full week in May has been designated National Pet Week by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), and the entire month of May has been designated National Pet Month. It presents us, as pet owners, with a unique opportunity not only to thank our pets for the joy they bring us, but to look at the ways we can be better stewards of their care. Throughout the month, veterinarians, veterinary technicians, school groups, and communities host fun and informative events to highlight responsible pet care and to help us celebrate the animals in our lives.

National Pet Month is also a fantastic opportunity to celebrate your pets. Here are just a few ideas from the AVMA to help you get started:

Plan a pet salon or spa day. Grooming not only keeps our furry friends looking their best, it’s essential for the health of their coat and skin. So why not treat your pet to a thorough brushing, bath, and nail trim. Check professional groomers in your area and ask if they’re offering any National Pet Month specials, or have a home salon day and treat your pet to a little pampering.

Set up a play date. Many pets (especially dogs) are social creatures. To celebrate National Pet Month, you can set up a play date with one of your pup’s BFFs (best furry friends). Playing with other dogs not only improves your pup’s health, bur helps teach important social skills in a controlled setting.

Editor’s Note: Figo publishes a series titled, Roam, to help you choose pet friendly vacation destinations. A new location is featured each month.

Explore the outdoors together. One of the great things about exercise is that it benefits both us and our pets. Whether it's a jog in the park or a hike in the woods, some shared exercise with out pets is not only healthy for our bodies but for our spirits. Plus, it’s an ideal way to reinforce that special bond between pet and owner.

Get fancy. Maybe you’ve been putting off buying your furry friend a new collar, leash, or food bowl; or maybe you’d like to treat them to a new bed, a fancy toy or a shiny new nametag. National Pet Month is a great reason to get your pet a special gift! 

Schedule a wellness visit with your vet. Maintaining your pet’s health is one of the most important responsibilities of pet ownership. Your vet can help with your pet’s diet and nutrition, vaccinations, preventive care, elder pet care, and so much more. During National Pet Month, veterinarians around the nation are offering special events, fun activities, and workshops on optimal pet care. Check with your vet and be sure your pets get the care and attention they need.

With all our pets do for us, let’s show them we care. Make this year’s National Pet Month memorable! 

Cecily Kellogg is a pet lover who definitely has crazy cat lady leanings. Her pets are all shelter rescues, including the dog, who is scared of the cats. She spent eight years working as a Veterinary Technician before becoming a writer. Today she writes all over the web, including here at Figo.

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