LET’S MOVE ON FROM JANUARY. For me January is the longest month of the year. Not certain if it is the shorter daylight or the freezing cold, or like this year the blizzard conditions but I am very glad to put it in the review mirror. February being the shortest month of the year even though 2024 is a leap year is full of pet events. Our profession has done a great job of promoting February as Dental health Month for our furry friends. Let’s look at other fun events that this month holds.
- Dog Training Education Month
- National Cat Health Month
- National Prevent a Litter Month
- Adopt a Rescued Rabbit Month
- Responsible Pet Owners Month
- Feb 2nd: Hedgehog Day (Groundhog Day)
- Feb 2nd: Golden Retriever Day
- Feb 3rd: Doggie Date Night
- Feb 7th-14th: Have a Heart for Chained Dogs Week
- Feb 14th: Pet Theft Awareness Day
- Feb 18th-24th: National Justice for Animals Week
- Feb 20th: National Love Your Pet Day
- Feb 22nd: National Walking the Dog Day
- Feb 22nd: National Wildlife Day (also celebrated in September)
- Feb 23rd: International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day
- Feb 27th: International Polar Bear Day
- Feb 28th: World Spay Day
The most known celebration would be Groundhog Day on February 2nd each year. I discovered while looking at the history of this event that Punxsutawney Phil and Polk County Paula (yes we have our own celebrity in Iowa!) are only right 40% of the time. If you use their predictions on how many more weeks of winter, you might be disappointed. The Farmer’s Almanac may be more reliable but even that has had a rocky road when it comes to predictions. I believe only the Creator knows and He smiles down as we place our hope in these traditions.
One day I do want to acknowledge in the month of February is Golden Retriever Day. I am aware that multiple breeds have a special day but this one holds a special place in my heart. Our coach shown here was our first family dog. Our kids grew up with him and he left a permanent mark on their lives.
Our first-born child, Jaclyn, chose to follow the tradition and got Ciggy 7 months before our granddaughter was born. It has been a joy watching July grow up with Ciggy. It has brought back many fun memories of watching her mom grow up with Coach. We are only 2 ½ years into this new relationship but they are very bonded. I decided to do a photo drop of Ciggy and July through the last few years. You will see not only that I have one of the cutest granddaughters but also that Ciggy has been an exceptional companion for her. From the moment she came home he has showered her with snuggles and wet kisses. Get ready for some adorable photos and some “Nene pride and joy”.
February 3rd is Doggie Date Night. This could be a fun event during the cold days of winter to plan a special event with your dog. Maybe you could have a dog get together with friends. Maybe you could plan a date at the local dog park. Maybe taking them on a weekend getaway would help break the boredom of long winter days and nights. Lots of hotels are allowing pets access to certain rooms in their buildings. Most have outdoor areas for elimination. They have realized if they want to attract pet loving customers they need to be more open to their fur babies.
I would also like to highlight the February 20th National Love Your Pet Day. Take a great photo of you and your pet or pets between now and then. On the 20th post those photos and let’s show the world how important our animal friends are in our lives. If you have lost a pet recently, share a photo in memory of them. Tell us why they are/were important in your life. With all the negativity in our world lets flood social media with positive messages.
I cannot forget to mention Feb 28th World Spay Day. Since 1988 I have been in the veterinary profession. When I began practicing, we often did wait to spay/neuter cats and dogs. I am seeing a trend in the current pet owner population to wait. These decisions are for various reasons, and I will not go into those here today. I want to comment that the behavioral issues and health implications of waiting needs to be factored into the decision to wait. Dogs and cats that are left intact are going to be more “worldly” in their mannerisms. They are constantly distracted by the environment around them and less tuned into their humans. This is instinctive and they cannot prevent it. If you are questioning whether to spay/neuter early or delay, speak with your veterinarian. The resources are great online to educate yourself about this topic. Your veterinarian would be an even better resource. Most breeders have experiences that may impact their preferences. Friends and family as resources can be helpful but don’t rely only on what others say or think. Make these important decisions for yourself and your pet based on what situations are happening in your life. Our world has shelters that are overcrowded with adult dogs and cats that come from all walks of life. Be a responsible pet owner and avoid unwanted litters by spaying your dog or cat.