February Pet Awareness Events and Holidays
Pet Dental Health Month
The American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA) annual drive to improve the dental health of all pets starts in February, they strongly advocate for proper dental care year round, but there has to be a poster month to jumpstart the movement.
What many pet owners don’t realize is that bad breath isn’t just “dog breath”. It can be a sign of periodontal disease (gum disease), a buildup of plaque, saliva and minerals between the dogs tooth and gums. Untreated this can cause bone loss, tissue destruction, and tooth loss. This can be a very painful experience for the dog and leaves room for more dangerous infections.
Keep your pet safe with regular teeth cleanings using dog approved toothpaste and brush. Consult your veterinarian if bad breath persists or excessive plaque is forming around the base of the teeth.
Unchain a Dog Month
Dogs deserve to have wide open spaces to run uninhibited by a chain. February is National Unchain a Dog Month. It is dangerous for both the dog and people due to the territorial nature of unsocialized dogs and the unpredictable nature of cornered and scared animals. There are many great organizations and rescues dedicated to saving chained dogs and giving them a second chance.
Feb. 7-14: Have a Heart for Chained Dogs Week
Dogs Deserve Better has an annual Have a Heart for Chained Dogs valentine campaign from the 7th-14th to raise awareness for chained dogs by sending valentines with coupons for free or reduced cost treats or dog food to feed the rescued dogs.
Feb. 10-11: Westminster Kennel Club Annual Dog Show
Established in 1877 the Westminster gets its name from the hotel that the founders used to meet at for a drink. A rich history of competitions and trials, the Westminster Dog Show predates the invention of the lightbulb, automobile, and zipper. It has survived the Great Depression and two World Wars. The Westminster Kennel Club wasn’t officially recognized until 1884, but a Board of Appeals was established in 1878 to oversee the rules and regulations. Second only to the Kuntucky Derby, the Westminster Dog Show is the oldest continuously held event in America.
Feb. 14: Pet Theft Awareness Day
Losing a loved pet is a tragic event. Feburary 14th heralds Pet Theft Awareness Day. To protect your dog from theft, remember to not leave them in the backyard for extended periods of time. If this cannot be avoided, make sure they aren’t visible from the street. People looking to steal a pet are looking for the easiest target, make it hard to access your beloved family member and it will discourage most thieves. In the terrible event that your pet does escape or is stolen, contact the Amber Alert for Pets Network to tap into a national network of caring owners and shelters keeping an eye out for lost or stolen pets.
Feb. 20: Love Your Pet Day
Give your loving pet a little extra attention and affection today; it’s National Love Your Pet Day! Treat them to something special for the unconditional love they give you the entire year round. A T-bone steak doesn’t have to be grilled up, although it wouldn’t be rejected, but an extra bout of fetch or tug-of-war is a great show of affection.
Feb. 22: Walking the Dog Day
To work of that T-bone steak treat from National Love Your Pet Day, February 22nd is Walking the Dog Day, so grab that leash and head to the park to get some fresh air with your favorite four-legged companion. Just make sure you’re walking your dog and not the other way around. Cesar Millan has some great tips for mastering the dog walk.
Spay/Neuter Awareness Month
Feb. 25: World Spay Day
2014 is the 20th anniversary of World Spay Day attempts to unite animal lovers towards a common goal to end the euthanasia and suffering of companion animals. Feral cats and street dogs that have been abandoned due to unexpected pregnancies are a tragic result of having unaltered animals out of close supervision. Without action, it becomes a self-propagating issue where unaltered abandoned animals continue to reproduce without the loving and caring environments the need and deserve.