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Tips to brush up on your pet parenting skills

Help for Animals Clinic in Barboursville has tips to help you brush up on your pet parenting skills. (WCHS/WVAH)

February is Responsible Pet Owners Month.

Help for Animals Clinic in Barboursville has tips to help you brush up on your pet parenting skills.

Veterinarian Kelly Pinkston said before you get a pet, you need to consider how much time you can commit to one and how much space in your home you have available.

"The local animal shelters are a great place to find dogs because you can go and then you can be with them. You can take them out kind of for a test drive to see how your personalities match. You want to kind of get the dog to suit your environment and what you're looking for,” Pinkston said.

Pinkston recommends pet-proofing your home. That means hiding any shoes, loose cables or cords and blocking them from rooms you don’t want them in.

"Crate training your animals is [a] very, very good idea,” said Jerod Vannatter, Help for Animals Clinic manager. “You don't have to worry about them destroying your house when you're gone if they have anxiety and those types of things. So, work on crate training them at a young age, and they'll fall into the habit of going to the crate when you're out at home."

Another thing to do is to get an ID tag and microchip your pet in case it runs away.

Pinkston said to keep your pets up-to-date on vaccinations, flea, tick and heartworm medications and get them spayed or neutered.

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