Keeping a pet safe and healthy should be a pet owner’s top responsibility with regard to the pet. In addition, significant research has shown that pet owners benefit in many ways from having pets, including physically and mentally. Having a pet has been proven to help people exercise. A pet also provides people with safety and security, as well as opportunities to socialize.

The following are key topics to discuss with pet owners in order to help ensure the health and safety of their animals:

1.  Spay/Neuter & Microchipping

  • Spaying or neutering helps a pet live a longer, happier, and healthier life
  • Having a pet microchipped is one of the best ways to increase a pet's chances of being reunited with an owner if he or she is lost or stolen and winds up at an animal shelter or veterinary office

2.  Emergency Planning

  • Identify a person or people to care for a pet in case of an emergency
  • Keep a “Go Bag” so the owner and pet can make a quick exit
  • Put a plan in place for your client should they be at-risk for eviction, homelessness, hospitalization, domestic violence, or other situations that would affect the safety of their pet

3.  Compiling Paperwork

  • Most agencies, shelters, and veterinary offices require proof of vaccinations and other veterinary history in order to provide care. It is important to have your client compile all pet paperwork in one convenient location should they require pet services
  • Essential pet paperwork includes:         

a.  Health records, including recent proof of vaccinations and spay/neuter procedure, as well as a medications list

b.  Microchipping information, including the microchip ID number and full owner details (name, address, phone number, etc.)

State Registration and License Information. In New York City, dog owners are required to purchase a license for their dog. For information about dog licensing or to purchase or renew a license online, go to