It's Important to Promote Responsible Pet Guardianship

The positive influence of pets on the health and well-being of humans is well known so responsible pet guardianship is a must. It's never too late to return the favor.
It's Important to Promote Responsible Pet Guardianship

Last update: 04 May, 2021

The animal industry has greatly evolved in recent years so it’s important to promote responsible pet guardianship. This applies not only to the entire society, not only to veterinarian medicine. This is because many animals are part of our lives and greatly enhance our well-being. Still, animal-related commerce brings along neglect and abuse due to the lack of responsible guardianship.

Globally, there are no specific regulations in regard to the welfare of companion animals. This is why more governments must take action to regulate this sector by developing strategies and support for responsible pet guardianship.

The importance of administrative work when it comes to responsible pet guardianship

The administrations responsible for agriculture and animal husbandry in each country tend to devote efforts to this purpose. For example, through the proposal of legislative acts that normalize the trade and responsible guardianship of dogs and cats. Especially considering that these are the two most common pets in Western culture.

Thanks to this type of initiative, it’s possible to respond to the growing public concern for the welfare and protection of pets.

These bills don’t always come to fruition, as they don’t have the backing of the legislature. In any case, they at least manage to awaken consciences and spark debate. This may conclude without regulation, but with other types of non-legislative actions that are also useful.

A clear example of the latter was the ratification of the European Convention for the Protection of Pets by several European countries. The fact of reaching a consensus at the state level allows these administrations to develop and coordinate actions in this field.

This is the case of the development of responsible pet ownership campaigns to raise awareness among pet guardians.

A child hugging a dog.

The cornerstone of the campaigns developed by some public administrations

Two key aspects highlight the relevance of these campaigns and act as the cornerstone of these campaigns. These are:

What should be the content of a campaign on responsible pet guardianship?

First of all, campaigns should have a general objective. It must always be about promoting a change of attitude in people’s relationship with pets. This is only possible through the knowledge and implementation of the basic principles of responsible pet ownership such as:

  1. The main thing is to reflect on the convenience, or lack thereof, of having a pet. This is because bringing one home has many demonstrated benefits for a human but it also entails great responsibility. Sometimes, as much as it may bother some of us, the most responsible course of action is to not have an animal at all.
  2. It’s important to select a pet that fits the needs, circumstances, and lifestyle of a given guardian. You should select an animal whose care is compatible with the time you can devote to them. Once you select a species, you must also consider things such as size, temperament, and even the age of the animal.
  3. It’s best to adopt or buy (if you must) a pet from a registered site as it guarantees its well-being and that of its offspring. Acquiring an animal from a place that doesn’t comply with the current legislation may mean that you’re colluding with the illegal pet trade.
  4. Familiarize yourself with the needs of the species: food, housing, education, and health, above all.
  5. Finally, you must know and respect the rules of coexistence in society. Responsible pet ownership is a concept that goes beyond the relationship between a guardian and their pet since both are part of society. For this reason, you must also take into account the rules of the community in which you both live.

The importance of responsible pet ownership

One can conclude that administrative participation in public awareness is key to achieving any improvement. The development of these campaigns is a turning point in the welfare and care of pets, even before people acquire them, by working to ensure their legal acquisition, at least.

However, all awareness campaigns that promote a change of attitude in society have a limited effect if there’s no follow-up.

A person holding a reptile.

It’s for this reason that the collaboration of the Administration and citizens is important in order to achieve the basic objective. Both parties can attain real change if committed to responsible pet ownership. Some of these efforts might be reflected in this generation but, hopefully, will be the rule in all future ones.

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