Who can resist those big, sad eyes? You have a ham sandwich. He doesn’t have a ham sandwich. Where is the justice in that? You break. Now he has half a ham sandwich. Better?

Pet owners can hurt their pets because they don’t know better. If your dog is a bundle of fur and fat, the ham sandwich you shared out of misplaced love may cause fatty liver disease or congestive heart failure or the excessive weight may exacerbate its hip dysplasia all of which will shorten its life.

A responsible pet owner will provide comfort and a healthy lifestyle for their four-legged or feathered member of the family.

Vaccines & Annual Shots. Rabies vaccines are necessary by law for dogs, but vaccines to prevent parvo, hepatitis and distemper also should be given as your veteri- narian recommends. If your dog will be interacting with strangers, kennel cough vaccines are also a good idea.

Good Food. Cheap dog food can cost you some steep vet bills and your pet a lot of pain. Look at the “guaranteed analysis” on the feed bag and be sure it includes the speci c source of meat (chicken meal), several vegetables and a whole grain or, if grain free, potato will probably be the starch.

Veterinarian care. Most domestic animals require the same medical assistance as humans in order to be healthy. They need dental check-ups, antibiotics for infections, corrective medications for thyroid and other malfunctioning glands, x-rays and bones set or pinned if broken. When your pet acts like it does not feel well, treat it as you would treat yourself!

Tie-outs. It’s illegal to tie a dog to a pole or fence and leave it there alone. It is not, however, illegal to leave a horse in a 10' x 10' corral for weeks or months at a time without any opportunity to run. For either of these ani- mals, this is not considered responsible ownership.

Arizona weather is brutal. In the summer, if a surface is too hot to keep your hand on, then it’s too hot for your dog or cat to walk or be on!

Truck beds and sidewalks can cook the toughest pads. In the winter be sure to provide shelter and an insulator be- tween your pet and the cold ground or concrete. If you are cold, they are cold. And most important of all, provide sufficient water at all times.

Parasites. There are little buggy critters out there that love to chow down on domestic animals including birds, cats, dogs, cattle, horses and most any other pet. Examine your pet regularly for signs of these varmints and nd a solution to remove them—preferably one that does not contain insecticides.

If you see a situation where you believe an animal is being badly treated or being abused, either on purpose or for lack of knowledge, ask your parents to speak to the owner. If that is not possible, call Pima Animal Care Center and ask what you should do next.

••••••

Dear Paw Prints,

How many animals do you have?

Thank you, K.M.

---------------------

Dear K.M.,
I have one dog and one cat. Both were adopted from

the animal shelter. My dog is an 8-year-old Newfoundland mix and my cat is a 12-year-old, gray and white domestic short hair cat, (who thinks he is a dog). They are great companions and make my home 

There are usually about 800 animals (mostly dogs and cats) in Pima Animal Care Center,  the Pima County shelter. However, sometimes there are over 1,000 animals in the shelter. That’s a lot of animals that need a home! So please make sure your pets are spayed or neutered!

If you and your family want to add a new member to your household, please remember to look at the animal shelter(s) in your area and give a deserving dog or cat a second chance at a happy life!

Pima Animal Care Center: 4000 N. Silverbell Rd. • 243-5969 pima.gov/animalcare

Send your pet questions to: PAW PRINTS, 2525 E. Broadway Blvd. #102 Tucson, AZ 85716

Edition: 
Phoenix
Tucson
Issue: 
November 2016