Celebrate National Pet Week
National Pet Week Reminds Animal Lovers That Pets Are the Spice of Life
(SCHAUMBURG, Ill.) May 1, 2009—American's own more than 172 million companion animals. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) wants to remind everyone during National Pet Week, May 3-9, that these animals deserve our love and care.
This year's theme is "Pets—the Spice of Life."
"We all believe that pets are very special, and they do spice up our lives," said Ginger Morton, a spokesperson for the AVMA Auxiliary, which runs National Pet Week. "National Pet Week celebrates responsible pet ownership, and this includes providing veterinary care for our four-legged and winged friends. We need to take care of our pets, because they touch our lives in so many ways."
Dr. James O. Cook, AVMA president, said that for many years he has involved his veterinary clinic in National Pet Week, working with local schools to teach students about pets and animal health. Many veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and clinics across the country will follow Dr. Cook's example by using this event to turn National Pet Week into an educational opportunity. Bookmarks, banners, brochures, t-shirts, coloring books, and contests are all designed to remind pet owners about the special the bond between people and pets.
"Pets serve important roles in our lives," says Dr. Cook. "Not only do they provide us with companionship, but studies have shown that they help us deal with stress, improve our health, and lengthen our lives. For example, senior citizens with pet dogs are more likely to get out of the house and regularly take walks with their four-legged companions, and that extra exercise brings them great health benefits."
National Pet Week was established in 1981 by the AVMA and its Auxiliary to promote responsible pet ownership, a greater awareness of veterinary medicine, and celebrate the human-animal bond. This year's theme "Pets—the Spice of Life" was inspired by the 2008 AVMA Convention host city, New Orleans.
Educating adults and children about responsible pet ownership is one of the most important elements of National Pet Week. Teachers are encouraged to visit the National Pet Week website, where, any time of the year, they can download lesson plans and work sheets on everything from safety around dogs and service animals to gathering information on the latest in cutting edge medicine, disease prevention and public health. The AVMA also offers educators a 29-minute DVD for students, grades 6-12, about careers in veterinary medicine.
The AVMA and its more than 78,000 member veterinarians are engaged in a wide variety of activities dedicated to advancing the science and art of animal, human and public health. Visit the AVMA Web site at www.avma.org for more information.