Bookmans partnered with Tucson radio stations to host our first ever Pet Fiesta in 2015 and it was a huge success. It got us thinking about the Dos and Don’ts of pet ownership. Let’s have a look at what does work with man’s best friends and what doesn’t.

dos and don'ts of pet ownership

DO: Walk your dogs on leashes and bring them with you into any Bookmans store.
DON’T: Walking pets on asphalt, concrete or even the desert floor in the heat will burn their feet. If you put your hand on the pavement and it’s figuratively or literally hot enough to fry an egg, spare your hand and your dog’s paws. Save the walk for later, use booties or find a shady grassy spot to play.

DO: Carry poopie bags.
DON’T: Do we have to say it? REALLY?! When you leave poop behind, you leave a problem for the next person to come along. Clean up after your pet.

DO: Give your pet regular baths and rinse well. General grooming is as important for your pets as it is for you.
DON’T: A French mani looks good on you but long nails can cause problems with hips and backs. Plus it’s painful. Don’t let their nails grow out.

DO: Personalize your pooch. Seasonal clothing, walking booties (that heat thing again) and cute collars can be fun.
DON’T: Your pet is not a fashion statement or laughing stock. Bulky costumes that inhibit movement or vision can cause your pet distress, not to mention embarrass them in front of their peers. That’s what your kids are for! Save that for your teen’s prom date.

DO: Get your pets fixed. Pets without this basic medical care have tremendous stress, are prone to running away and can experience multiple health issues. Spayed and neutered animals are calmer and live longer. We also are really passionate about not contributing to the pet population problem.
DON’T: It can be a bitch to remove mature reproductive organs. Don’t delay; spay.

DO: Obedience train your dogs. You aren’t treating them like a circus act, a whole other issue. Dogs are pack animals who look to their alpha for leadership. YOU are the alpha and they are waiting for your cue. Training gives them structure and avoids chaos especially in public.
DON’T: Rambling, shouted, random commands are no bueno. Your dog can’t understand you and gets confused and upset.

DO: Give plenty of praise. Dogs love positive re-enforcement. Their main goal is to be our best friend, and eat of course.
DON’T: Overfeeding your pets or only showing love through food is problematic. Overweight pets have the same issues humans have. Some dogs will eat anything, but don’t treat them like a garbage disposal. A nice ear scratch and heartfelt, “Good Dog!” has the same effect.

DO: Treat your pets like your best friend and family member because they are!
DON’T: If you discover you can’t care for your dog anymore, swallow your pride and contact a rescue. Don’t dump them. Domesticated animals intended to be pets do not do well “in the wild”. Tucson is full of dedicated animal lovers who would rather take custody of your pet rather than find them wandering the desert or streets.

Saving the best for last…
#1 DO: Really, really, really think before you adopt. We say “adopt” because rescue is our favorite breed. We love all your pets, and hope that you will consider visiting a rescue before a pet shop. Ask yourself if you can honestly afford the time, money and commitment of being a responsible pet owner. If you adopt from a rescue you know some history of the animal, its temperament, and that it has the proper shots and is fixed. If the animal doesn’t work out, you can return the pet to the rescue.
DON’T: Don’t make an impulse decision that you and the animal will regret later. Exotic pets take tremendous care and expense. They look cool (and are cool), but take dedication.

Having a pet is a partnership that enriches the lives of both pet and owner. (We sometimes wonder who is which.) Our lives wouldn’t be the same without our animal family. Bookmans would love to meet yours. Grab those poopie bags and leashes and bring your entire family in. We will break our own DON’T and give them a treat. Nobody’s perfect. Love on Tucson!