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April is national pet month in the UK
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April is national pet month in the UK

Life As A Pet Parent

For those who don’t know yet, April 2016 is officially National Pet Month in the UK, and anyone who owns an animal of any kind (or simply loves animals but does not have one) can get involved! So, what is National Pet Month, why is it important, and how can pet owners and animal lovers get in on it? Read on to find out!

What is National Pet Month?

National Pet Month runs annually, and this year, falls in April in the UK and May in the USA. Now in its 27th year, National Pet Month is a celebration of pets and animals of all kinds, and the positive effect that they have on the lives of their owners and other animal lovers.

Each year, National Pet Month has a different focus, which this year is involved with promoting ten top tips for responsible pet ownership, as well as a whole range of other events and virtual gatherings going on across the country and on the internet at large. National Pet Month also tries to encourage support for pet-related businesses and businesses that welcome pets, and aims to inspire pet lovers to run or attend animal-centric events to raise money for pet and animal charities.

Why is National Pet Month important?

For those who don’t have any pets and aren’t that interest in animals, National Pet Month will probably be little more than a blip on their radar. However, for pet lovers, animal advocates and anyone who has a pet, National Pet Month provides a valuable opportunity to learn about pets and animals of all kinds, get help, advice and insights on caring for their own pets, and offers chances to support the work of some of the UK’s hardest working pet charities.

How can you get involved?

If you have a pet, there are a huge range of different ways to get involved with something over National Pet Month, and either learn something new, make new friends, or raise some money!

If you’re looking for an event local to you, check out this continually updated interactive map of events planned over the course of the month, or why not think about running one of your own?

While the range of activities and events on offer will vary from area to area, why not try some of the following suggestions, which will be available in many places with large populations and pet lovers!

Fundraising for your favourite pet charity

If you’re passionate about pets and want to help and support homeless animals as well as your own, why not think about raising fund for your favourite charity? Rehoming shelters and charities are in need of financial support all year round, but National Pet Month can provide the get up and go you need to turn good intentions into actions!

How about having a sponsored dog walk, running a bake sale in work, or host a fundraising coffee morning? Whatever you like to do, you can likely find a way to use it to raise funds!

Support a good cause

If you don’t have the time or inclination to arrange an event of your own, there will still be plenty of ways to support good pet-related causes over the course of the month, and of course, throughout the year too. Find out ifanyone in your local area is inviting sponsors or running a fundraiser for a pet-related charity, and get involved!

Volunteer

If you can spare a day or two a month, have some special skills to offer, or are prepared to get down and dirty for an afternoon, think about volunteering for a local animal charity. If you don’t think you could face working in a shelter itself without wanting to take all of their charges home with you, many animal charities operate shops and stalls in town centres too, and if you could help out in one of them now and then sorting stock or serving customers, the help will be much appreciated.

Attend an awareness-raising events

A lot of veterinary clinics and other pet-related organisations will likely be running special events during National Pet Month, including clinics, talks and advice sessions, which can give you a valuable chance to learn something new about your pet, and the best ways to care for them. Check adverts in your local clinic, or call them up and ask what they’ll be doing!

Review your own pet’s care

Finally, the focus of National Pet Month this year is “the top ten tips for responsible pet ownership,” and so this provides a good opportunity to review how you care for your own pet to ensure that you are doing everything possible to keep them happy, healthy and fulfilled. This can help to strengthen the bond you have with your pet, and even improve their welfare and health!

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