What is National Pet Month anyway? Well we looked it up and found a very simple, but profound answer to this question. National Pet Month is defined as a celebration of benefits that pets bring to people’s lives, and vice versa. So why do we consider this to be profound? Keying in on a couple specific words in this definition, there are some that really jump to the forefront.
When we think of celebrations, we typically think about specific events such as birthday parties, graduations, and Holidays to name a few. At these events we find cheer, festivities, activities, friendship, family, and a host of other attributes that help us revel in the moment, remember why we are there, and to create memories to reflect on once the event is over. The theme for this month is to encourage us to take a moment and celebrate our pets. Celebrate the fact that in this Country we are free to have pets. Celebrate the fact that pets play a substantial role in our economy. Celebrate the fact that pets are common cause for conversation between strangers. And celebrate the fact that pets of all kinds depend on us for their well-being and as payback, they offer unconditional love and admiration without judgment. They are a role model for humankind.
This list could go on and on, but one benefit pets provide us is stress relief. At the end of any long, trying day, few can make today’s worries evaporate and replace them with pure joy, but pets surely can. Another benefit could be their uncanny ability to be relationship stewards. Yep, singles everywhere report meeting their significant other at a pet centered event such as a dog play day, the local park or trail, or the beach. Couples will even say having a pet provides them a feeling of parenthood, whether it is before they have children (the human kind) or after the kids have left the nest. Let’s not forget the benefit of protection. Just having a pet around can make us feel safer, even if our protector is a 5lb. Chihuahua!
Some extraordinary pets impact the livelihood of people around them. These pet heroes include Search and Rescue pets who will fearlessly trudge through the aftermath of a natural disaster, an accident scene, or a forest of trees looking for a missing person. In addition, some pet heroes visit the elderly or infirm, sharing their kind energy as some sort of magic potion to help heal or comfort their new friend and brighten their day. Pet heroes visit children in hospitals and adoption centers or those with physical or mental challenges, giving kids a smile for today and hope for a better tomorrow. Pet heroes offer their senses such as sight and hearing to people who will come to rely on the pets as their partners in their everyday struggles with disabilities.
The age old adage “man’s best friend” is now, more than ever, truly an understatement! Pets are considered family! Some are called best friend, but some are called our children, our brothers, our sisters, and even our “grand dogs”. Some have their own life and/or health insurance, clothing, bedrooms, car seats, therapist, medical specialist, personal trainer, stylist, chef, and the list goes on and on. This is a great time to celebrate our pets!
Here’s the proof. Sometime this month (National Pet Month) ask a stranger to tell you about their pet and they will likely go on for several minutes detailing the role their pet plays in their life. We are confident you will hear about vacations they took with their pets, their pet’s favorite toys, their pet’s “buddies” in the neighborhood or at the day care, and their pet’s Halloween costume! Maybe you will hear of an even more serious example such as the time their pet protected them against an intruder or mugger, or when their pet cuddled up next to them for hours after a life tragedy and intently listened to every word, even though they didn’t understand a single one.
Give back to your pets. Take good care of them. Keep them clean. Provide a clean and safe environment for them. Mind their oral hygiene needs. Fact: A well cared for pet lives longer and gives us more time to celebrate their companionship.
So when you get home today, celebrate.
Written by: Joe Zuccarello, a professional in the Pet Industry for nearly 30 years. Joe has played in key roles at successful companies in Pet Hospitality, Grooming, Training, Management Consulting, and Retailing. He currently serves as National Accounts Sales Manager with TropiClean Pet Products. Joe celebrates his Shih-tzu Vinnie during National Pet Month.