Having a pet can give you great pleasure, but it is also a responsibility.

Anyone who has or is contemplating getting a pet needs to make sure that the animals needs are met and you have provided him with everything he needs for a long, healthy, happy life.

Below are 7 things you can do to make sure your pet is happy and healthy for a lifetime!

1. Get your pet an ID tag.

This tag tells where your pet lives and of any medical conditions your pet may have. If your pet wanders off, it may be the only thing standing between your pet and the pound! You can get ID tags in many shapes sizes and colors. If your pet might be out at night, consider one that glows or has a flashing light – it could save his life! If your pet won’t tolerate tags or you are nervous about a collar getting caught on something, consider a pet microchip

2. A well behaved pet is a pleasure to be around, and if your pet will come when called, this can help keep him safe.

You can prevent behavioral problems by enrolling your pet in a behavior training class before it acquires any bad habits. A well behaved dog is a friend for life and learning how to train your dog will make both you and him happier!

3. Medical care is just as important for your pet as it is for your family (luckily, it costs a lot less!).

Get your pet a check up from a vet at least once a year. Some behavior problems can be health related and taking your pet to the vet on a regular basis will help you with tip # 2.

4. Prepare for disasters. Your pet cannot read the escape plan you have made for your family in case of a flood, fire, or other disaster!

Make sure your escape plans include someone in your family having the job of securing or gathering up and removing your pet(s) from your home and taking them to a safe place.

5. No one likes to think about this, but who will take care of your pet if something happens to you?

It might not be a bad idea to have a “godparent” for all of your pets. Don’t forget to line people up to care for your pet if you need to go out of town or are in the hospital.

6. Dog bites are traumatic for everyone involved and obviously you want to avoid them at all costs!

Learn to avoid dog bites by training your dog and your family. Each year over 4 million children are bitten by dogs! 80% are by dogs they know and have been in daily contact with!

7. This final tip is most important – have your pet neutered or spayed as soon as they are old enough.

There are so many unwanted dogs and cats out there and there is no need to add to their numbers. If you can’t afford to have your pet spayed or neutered go to these two web sites to see their requirements for getting a voucher to pay to have the procedure done.

There you have it!

Seven simple steps to keep you and your pets happy for a long, long time.