(SCHAUMBURG, Illinois) May 5, 2023—As National Pet Week (May 7-13) approaches, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) invites the millions of pet owners and pet lovers across the nation to join in the celebration of the unique bond between pets and their humans by embracing responsible pet ownership.
Established in 1981 by the AVMA and the Auxiliary to the AVMA, National Pet Week not only honors the love, joy and companionship pets bring to our lives, but also highlights the importance of providing them with everything they need for a happy, healthy life. Through a variety of resources, daily themes and expert advice, the AVMA aims to empower pet owners to be the best caregivers they can be, ensuring a lifetime of love and care for their cherished pets.
"National Pet Week is the perfect time to celebrate the special bond between pets and their people, while also recognizing the responsibilities that come with pet ownership," said Dr. Lori Teller, president of the AVMA. "Our pets give us unconditional love, support and companionship, and in return, it's our job to ensure they receive the care and attention they need to live long, healthy and happy lives."
Pet owners are encouraged to visit AVMA.org/PetWeek for more information on ways to celebrate their pets and resources to help them provide appropriate care. The AVMA is also offering an official National Pet Week toolkit for veterinarians to utilize in observing the week with their staff and clients.
Each day of National Pet Week focuses on a different topic essential to responsible pet ownership. This year's themes include:
Sunday – Choose well: Commit for life
While the prospect of adding a pet to the family may be exciting, it's important that people are not impulsive or careless when bringing a new pet into their homes. Select the pet that's right for your family's lifestyle and make a commitment to that pet for its life. Even if you have already welcomed a pet into your home, your veterinarian can help you better understand the social and healthcare needs of your individual pet. View AVMA's resources on selecting a pet for your family.
Monday – Behavioral health: Habits for happy pets
Keep your pet happy and healthy by promoting positive interactions. Try creating an environment that encourages natural behaviors by introducing puzzles, games and interactive toys, or learning new skills. Activities like target training are wonderful options for dogs and cats—and even other pets, like fish! You can also promote good behavior by helping your pets get comfortable in new situations by safely exposing them to a variety of interactions with other animals, people, places and activities. View AVMA's resources on socializing dogs and cats, as well as a video on socializing pets.
Tuesday – Nutrition and exercise matter
With more than half of dogs and cats in the United States considered overweight or obese, and humans plagued by this issue as well, the AVMA encourages pets and their owners to get regular exercise—together. This not only improves cardiovascular health, maintains a healthy weight, and supports good mental health for both owner and pet, but it strengthens the human-animal bond. For tips on walking, running, or starting another exercise program with your pet, visit avma.org/Walking, and watch AVMA's National Pet Week video on the importance of proper pet nutrition.
Wednesday – Love your pet? See your vet!
Everybody loves their pet, yet many pet owners do not take their pets to the veterinarian unless they are visibly sick or injured. Pets often hide signs of illness. Regular check-ups are vital to catching health problems early. Not only can early treatment mean better health for your pet, it can also save you money. View AVMA's money tips for caring pet owners.
Thursday – Travel with care
Many people may be planning on traveling this summer, making up for previous trips cancelled due to the pandemic. Traveling with pets requires advance planning and coordination to keep everybody safe. Whether you're taking a short car trip or flying to another state or country, getting your pet safely to your destination requires special planning and precautions. Plan ahead, and know exactly what's needed when you travel with pets of different species. View AVMA's pets in vehicles resources, and see AVMA's National Pet Week video on safe pet travel.
Friday – Emergencies happen: Be prepared
We never know when or where an emergency will happen. As a pet owner, you need to plan ahead, and include your pets in your family's emergency plan. Know what to do in case of an emergency, how to assemble first aid and emergency kits and how to properly identify your pets so your family can be reunited if you're ever separated.
Saturday – Plan for their care: Give them a lifetime of love
Thanks to better care, pets are living longer now than they ever have before—and as pets get older, they need extra care and attention. Regular veterinary examinations can detect problems in older pets before they become advanced or life-threatening. They also can improve your pet's chances for a longer and healthier life. Visit the AVMA's page for senior pets to find out what is ‘normal' and what may signal a reason for concern about an aging pet.
View AVMA's "Lifetime of care for a lifetime of love" National Pet Week video.
National Pet Week 2023 is made possible in part by educational funding from partner, Pets Best.
For more information, contact Michael San Filippo, AVMA media relations manager, at 847-732-6194 (cell/text) or msanfilippoavma [dot] org (msanfilippo[at]avma[dot]org).