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Summer is creeping up, and that means a lot of great excuses to get out of the house for fun with our animal friends. Whether it’s visiting a great aquarium or zoo, volunteering at a local shelter or generally being extra sweet to your pet, June’s the time to do it. Click through to check out some of this month’s notable pet holidays.
June is the perfect time to take the family (or just yourself!) to one of hundreds of fantastic zoos and aquariums located across the country. Reputable zoos provide a rare chance to get up close and personal with the more exotic members of our animal community, not to mention a wealth of educational opportunities. Visit the Association of Zoos & Aquariums for a comprehensive list of AZA-approved facilities, and get ready for a summer full of wild encounters!
Pet holiday trackers will find some dispute surrounding the designation of June as “Adopt a Shelter Pet Month.” Is it adopt a shelter cat month? Adopt a shelter dog month? We feel no such need to parse the subject here — the bottom line is, most municipal shelters are full to the brim with dogs, cats and other furry creatures in need of a loving forever home. Petfinder features an extensive list of shelters across the United States, so take some time this month to consider welcoming a new pet into your home.
Butterflies are magical to watch, but dwindling habitats have made observing these delicate pollinators a scarcer pleasure. BEAD is a great opportunity to support butterfly populations, like that of the iconic monarch, which has seen its numbers deteriorate significantly during the past decade. A great way to shore up butterfly populations is to plant a garden filled with attractive plants. Master Gardener groups in your area can provide tips on how to create the ideal butterfly sanctuary for your backyard. The Association for Butterflies has a lot of other great suggestions for kids, adults and community groups looking for ways to celebrate BEAD.
You may also enjoy reading the Vetstreet article "A Beginner's Guide to Butterfly Watching."
As if you need an excuse to show your pet some love! Still, Pet Appreciation Week helps to hammer home just how much the animal members of our families boost our happiness and sense of well-being. It’s believed owning a dog may contribute to lower blood pressure in human owners. For elderly folks, having a pet for companionship is shown to have significant healing effects. And, as far as overall mental health goes, snuggling up with your furry friend can provide critical emotional support. So return the favor this week with lots of pets, walks and praise.
It’s been almost 15 years since activists at In Defense of Animals established this observance, designed to broaden our scope beyond concern for the welfare of our pets to that of all animals, including those who live in zoos, on farms or in laboratories. Take some time this week to look through your cupboards — are your beauty and cleaning products cruelty-free? What about that chicken breast in the fridge — was it humanely raised? Making conscious consumer choices during this week and into the future is a great way to show your solidarity with all members of the animal kingdom.
Pet Sitters International came up with this adorable holiday, designed to celebrate dogs as the top-notch companions they are. Nobody likes to leave their best friend at home, so before the date arrives, chat up your boss about embracing Take Your Dog to Work Day. Besides, customers will love being enthusiastically greeted with wet noses and kisses at the reception desk when Secretary Spot is on duty!
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