May is Responsible Animal Guardian Month - PetFirst
May is Responsible Animal Guardian Month
Pet Care & Health

May is Responsible Animal Guardian Month

by MetLife Pet Insurance
2 years ago

Those with animals know that being responsible for our furry friends is a daily, year-round commitment.  To highlight the importance of humans’ responsibilities to animals, In Defense of Animals (IDA) has declared the month of May “Responsible Animal Guardian Month.” 

Purpose of the Campaign

According to the IDA, one purpose behind the Responsible Animal Guardian Campaign is to focus on “promoting the life-saving language, actions and values of animal guardianship in regard to our fellow beings.”  

The IDA’s goal is to change the term “owner” to the more equal and respectful title “guardian.”  Identifying as an owner makes a pet our property while referring to ourselves as guardians mean that we are responsible for an animal’s well-being for a lifetime.

During the month of May, the IDA hopes to accomplish the following:

  • To encourage responsible and loving behavior from people who are already pet guardians. This means committing to caring for the pet’s physical and social needs and forming a deep bond with the animal.
  • To discourage people from purchasing an animal from a pet store or breeder.  

What is a Responsible Animal Guardian?

There is no better time than right now to look at what it means to be a responsible animal guardian.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) defines responsible guardians as legal adults who are fully committed to humane, compassionate, lifelong care for their companion animal(s).

A responsible guardian is able and committed to caring for the animal’s physical, behavioral, social, and psychological needs for the lifetime of the animal.

What You Can Do

If you are thinking of adding a new fur-friend to your family be sure to consider the following items in regards to your pet’s needs and care:

  • Have a plan as to who will be responsible for caring for your new family member.
    Your new four-legged friend is going to need walks, feeding, playtime, baths, training. Someone might have to take him out early in the morning as well as in the evening. Pet owners will also have to spend time consistently training him or commit to bringing him to a trainer.  These details should be worked out before you take an animal home.
  • Make sure you have the time and energy to spend with your new animal.
    There is an old saying, “negative attention is better than no attention at all.”  Animals want your attention.  If they aren’t getting the interaction they need, they will find other outlets for their energy.  These outlets can result in behavior problems such as destroying items and excessive barking.
  • Find out if the animal is spayed or neutered.
    It’s a responsible and healthy thing to help control the animal population by spaying or neutering your animal. There is no reason to bring additional cats and dogs into the world unless you know they will all have loving, caring homes for their lifetimes. 
  • Be prepared to tend to the emotional needs of a rescue animal.
    Some rescue animals come with unknown histories or difficult pasts that include abuse or neglect. They may require some extra patience and TLC to overcome abandonment issues and fear of humans.

If you already are an animal guardian it’s important to remember to:

  • Socialize your animal so that she is confident and comfortable in a variety of situations.
  • Make exercise part of your furry friend’s daily routine.  Just like humans, animals need exercise to stay in good physical shape.
  • Go for an annual wellness exam.  This way, your veterinarian can find issues and address them before they become chronic.
  • Take senior animals for two wellness exams a year.
  • Consider buying pet insurance to help cover unexpected vet visits and needed care for your furry family member. 


Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.

1Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”) is the insurance carrier for this product. IAIC, a Delaware insurance company, is headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC to offer and administer pet insurance policies. This entity was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an assumed name and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other assumed names or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions. 

2Provided all terms of the policy are met. Like most insurance policies, insurance policies issued by IAIC contain certain exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force. For costs, complete details of coverage and exclusions, and a listing of approved states, please contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC.

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