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2008 Tips from HSUS January 03, 2008 9:42 AM

1. Want to exercise more? Try taking your dog (or cat) for a walk, or play with them more often. Not only can you both lose weight, get healthier and feel better; you'll create a stronger bond between you and your pet. [Don't have a dog? "Borrow" one by volunteering at a shelter to walk theirs!] 2. Create first-aid and disaster kits for your pets. You never know when a medical emergency or natural disaster will happen, so make sure you're prepared. Dog and cat first-aid kits can help you handle everything from cuts to broken bones and tick bites. Natural disaster kits can prepare you for hurricanes, floods and weather-related emergencies when you’d have to seek shelter with your pet. 3. Don't buy from stores that sell puppies and kittens. Despite what they may tell you, pet stores do sell puppy mill puppies, and purchasing any items from stores that sell puppies and kittens is only supporting their business—and puppy mills. Instead, buy your pet supplies from a store that doesn't sell puppies and kittens or, if you're looking for a new pet, adopt one from your local animal shelter or rescue group. If you've already adopted an animal, show your pride by ordering one of our Proud 2 Adopt kits. 4. Support your local animal shelter. There are many ways to show your love for your local shelter. You can volunteer or donate goods like blankets, towels, food or toys. You can even help a shelter of your choice win a million-dollar makeover at 5. Volunteer for animals in your community. Help feral cats, volunteer at an animal rehabilitation center, or educate your neighbors on the dangers of chaining dogs outside. 6. Give your pet "social security." Set aside money each month to pay for unexpected vet bills or sign up for pet insurance. 7. Start the New Year right—remember to schedule your pet's annual veterinary exam. 8. Give your lost pet a ticket home. Most people think to put a collar and ID tag on their dog, but many don't think to protect their cat the same way. Put a breakaway collar with identification on your cat that includes your name, address and telephone number. Even indoor cats can escape or emergencies can leave your cat outside and alone. An ID tag greatly increases the chance that your pet will be returned home safely. [My addition: Get your pet spayed or neutered!]  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
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