Monday, May 2, 2011

10 Easy Ways to Be Kind to Animals

From the beginning of time, animals have been enriching our lives, whether we realize it or not.  From bees to killer whales, animals keep our world in balance on a daily basis by doing things that we often see as insignificant, taking for granted their important contributions.  We even tend to take for granted the animal that has the largest impact in our lives, supplying us with unconditional love regardless of our flaws, our dogs.  This first week in May has been set aside for us to notice these contributions and to say “Thank you” for them by changing our own habits and implementing ways to be kind to animals.
Here are 10 easy things you can start doing in your life to show a little kindness to not only your own pets, but to animals all over the world.
10.  Plant trees, shrubs, or flowers in your yard to make birds and other wildlife feel welcome.
9.      Put out a bird feeder, bird house, or bird bath in your yard.  You can get the kids involved by building a bird house together or by letting them help you fill the bird feeder regularly.
8.       Adopt a shelter pet, donate to an animal shelter, or volunteer at an animal shelter.  Sometimes help comes in different ways, and ensuring animals are cared for while waiting for a new home can make a world of different to an animal.
                        Riverside County Department of Animal Services
                        Corona Animal Shelter
7.   Keep your dogs (and cats) vaccinated and take them for regular check-ups to prevent illness.
6.      Keep up with your dog’s hygiene regularly by brushing their teeth, cleaning their ears, bathing them, trimming their nails, brushing their coats, and expressing their anal glands (if needed). Groom your dog regularly to ensure their coat/skin is healthy, check for fleas and ticks, and to help your dog keep cool in the summer.     
5.      Spend quality time with your dog daily.  There’s no better way to show your dog some love than by giving him regular exercise, but dogs also love a good massage.
4.      Never tolerate animal cruelty.  If you see an animal being abused, report it immediately.
3.      Recycle as often as you can to reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfills and pollutes the ocean.  This includes properly disposing of old antifreeze or other toxins and cutting up all nets and 6-pack plastic rings to make sure animals don’t ingest or get caught in such hazardous waste.    
2.      Leave all wild animals in their natural homes (insects, lizards, and sea creatures included).
1.      Educate others about the importance of kindness to animals. 
Parents- teach your kids though books, wildlife shows/movies, and by example.  
Kids- teach your peers by using animal issues as topics for school projects and book reports and by always showing a good example. 
Everyone- Pass on your belief in animal kindness to your co-workers, neighbors, family, and friends and always show a good example.

“We speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.” – G.T. Angell

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