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National Pet Month (NPM) runs from 1 April to 2 May and is now in its 27th year. Events are being held up and down the country this month to raise money for UK animal welfare charities and celebrate our pets.

This year’s theme is to champion responsible pet ownership and NPM have released their ‘Top Ten Tips for responsible ownership‘, which includes ensuring that your pet is well socialised, providing them with a nutritious diet and cleaning up after them.

The aims of NPM are to promote responsible pet ownership, make people aware of the benefits of pets for people and people for pets, increase public awareness of services available, and raise awareness of the role and value of companion animals in society.

Pet businesses, groups and individuals can register to be a NPM supporter and either host or attend a fundraising event this month, such sponsored dog walks and bake sales. Organisers are encouraging pet-owners to speak to their favourite pet charities about how they can help.

The British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) has backed the campaign and is advising veterinary practices to play a vital role in marking the event, by celebrating improvements in animal welfare and raising money for UK pet charities.

BSAVA President Tricia Colville encouraged vet practices to join the celebrations and says, “The vet profession is at the heart of responsible pet ownership and National Pet Month is a great opportunity for practices to open their doors to the public to show them the professionalism and care that goes on behind the scenes, as well as educate and support pet owners, and to celebrate this in a fun and inspiring way.

“There is a growing body of evidence documenting the many physical and emotional benefits of responsible pet ownership, helping us to lead happier, healthier lives and make fewer demands on the health service or on society as a whole.”

National Pet Month Chairman Michael Bellingham says, “National Pet Month offers a fantastic opportunity for veterinary practices, their clients and even potential clients to join together to celebrate our country’s great love of our pets, to remind us of the importance of taking good care of our pets and perhaps encourage us to help raise funds for many of the UK’s incredible charities, such as PetSavers, which helps so many of our nation’s pets in need. National Pet Month’s top 10 tips can provide the vet profession with a simple starting point for conversations about pet care.”

To register and find out about events near you go to http://www.nationalpetmonth.org.uk/.

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