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11 Ways to Celebrate National Pet Month

Monday April 3rd 2017

From celebrating the fulfilling impact pets have on our lives, to raising awareness about promoting pet ownership, here are a few ways you can mark National Pet Month this April …

1. Adopt a pet
Thousands of dogs, cats and rabbits are abandoned every year in the UK and many rescue facilities and shelters are reaching breaking point.

If you have room in your life for a furry, four-legged friend and you’re prepared to take on a long-term commitment, then National Pet Month is a great time to head down to your local animal shelter and potentially save an animal’s life.

2. Donate to an animal shelter
Animal charities and rescue centres are notoriously under-funded and rely heavily on donations. Obviously donating cash is a great help but you can also look to donate other items that can prove extremely costly.

Food, blankets and toys are a great help and can make a great difference to an animal’s comfort when they’ve been abandoned at a shelter.

You could also donate excess medicines that are left at the back of a cupboard and are no longer of use to you. This can be the case if you find yourself in the unfortunate circumstances where you have lost a pet due to ill health.

3. Volunteer at an animal shelter
What better way to help your community and celebrate National Pet Month than to lend a helping hand at your local animal rescue centre?

Though not the most glamorous job (you’ll probably find yourself cleaning out hutches and hosing down kennels rather than grooming cockapoos) you should feel a real sense of giving back as well as bringing a happy face to the abandoned animals as they wait for their forever home.

Volunteering is also a great way to pick up the skills you need if you’re considering adopting a new furry friend.

4. Pamper your pet
You don’t need an excuse to shower your pet pooch, pretty kitty or bouncing bunny with lots of love, affection and quality time but National Pet Month is as good a time as any.

Give them a rub or massage, treat them to some new toys and indulge in some play time.

5. Schedule your pet’s annual vet check-up
It’s important that your pet has a regular health check, so you know that your darling animal is in tip-top condition.

Use April as a reminder that this is the month for an annual check-up and get your pet’s booster injections done, weight checked and overall health ticked off by the vet.

6. Make sure your microchip info is up to date
According to charity the Dog’s Trust, there were 37,000 dogs abandoned between April 1, 2015 and March 31, 2016. Worryingly, one in eight of these pooches risk perishing in shelters because their microchip information is incorrect.

If you’ve moved house, changed your phone number, or have a new job with a new email address make sure the microchip information is up-to-date.

If your pet isn’t already microchipped then now is an opportune time to get it done.

7. Book a pet-friendly break away
It can be heart-breaking to pack your cherished pet off to a boarding facility while you head out on a much-needed break.

Why not look for a holiday that will let you take your furry friend along? Many B&Bs and private rental holiday homes let you take your animal with you.

Fancy a sunnier climate? Take your animal with you and apply for a pet passport

8. Attend a local pet event
Animal health awareness events are an ideal way to learn all about your beloved pet and a great place to pick up some tips and even some freebies.

You can also take part in pet-friendly events, such as the Great British Dog Walk or go on Dog Friendly Britain’s website and see what events, walks and dog-friendly areas are near you.

Cat agility events and animal-friendly Ted talks could also be a novel way to spend a few hours.

Show jumping for rabbits is an up-and-coming bunny pastime and even the RSPCA supports it. Hopping over obstacles, stretching their hind legs and having some fun outdoors is what rabbit show jumping is all about.

RSPCA guidance on rabbit agility reads: “The decision to train a rabbit to show jump should only be made after very careful consideration of whether it is appropriate for the individual rabbit concerned to take part, whether his/her welfare would be negatively or positively affected by taking part.”

9. Make your animal a show pet
Most people have heard of Crufts the prestigious award where pure bred dogs can show off their shiny coats and pet poise but have you heard of Scrufts?

Your pet pooch doesn’t need to have a 14-barrelled name that sounds like an exotic dessert to enter the Scrufts, a show that’s dedicated to crossbreeds and sponsored by Crufts.

Feline fans can also get in on the action by taking their kitty to a cat fancying show. These include national cat clubs, regional shows and breed-specific groups.

Rabbit shows tend to be few and far between as bunnies tend to be less social and can be daunted by crowded places. However, an ideal place for rabbits to show off their cotton tails is at The Small Animal Show.

10. Fundraise for an animal charity
Many animal charities operate without any government funding and rely heavily on fundraising efforts from supporters. National Pet Month is an ideal time to raise some much-needed cash for the causes that are close to your heart.

And bike rides, 10km runs and raffles don’t need to be the only route to fundraising – get creative. Have a sponsored lip sync battle, hold a bake-off competition at work or host a friendly swishing event (clothes sale and swap) and invite third parties to sell their wares for a “stall fee”.

11. Schedule daily QT with your fluffy friend
National Pet Month isn’t just about promoting responsible pet ownership but also about showing our four-legged fur babies how much we love them.

Set aside some time every day of this month to shower your pet with some quality time. Enjoy snuggles, cuddles and playtime, but also plan some trips out, obstacle courses and bonding opportunities so your cherished pet feels happy and loved.