Did you know that May is National Pet Month? The Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine is full of pet lovers (duh!), so we’re giving you five fun ideas to celebrate the pets in your life. 

1. Snap a picture

Thanks to cellphones, everyone has a camera in their pocket, which means everyone can be a photographer! Taking photos of your pet is an easy way to make a keepsake you’ll enjoy for years to come. 

Prepare for the photoshoot and spend some quality time with your pet by grooming them. If your furry friend tolerates it, accessories like bandanas and hair clips can make your cute pet even cuter.

2. Get playful

Change it up and play a new game with your pet! A treat-finding game is a game all pets will enjoy as they seek out tasty rewards. Hide your pet’s favorite treats around the room and let them use their nose to sniff out their prize. Both cats and dogs heavily rely on their sense of smell to navigate the world, and this game will challenge them to use their brains — and their noses — to interact with their environment in a new way. 

Some pets may need a little extra guidance to find all the treats, but that’s just another way for you and your pet to bond!

3. Teach your pet a new trick

They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks… but they’re wrong! Dogs and cats — yes, even cats — of all ages can learn to perform tricks. The training process provides mental stimulation that can keep your pet happy and boredom-free. 

Check out our article “5 Tips for Successful Dog Training” for guidance on how to train your pup!

4. Get involved

According to the ASPCA, 6.3 million dogs and cats enter animal shelters every year. You can help make a difference in the lives of homeless pets by getting involved at your local animal shelter or humane society. 

Reach out to your local animal shelter or visit its website to see what its volunteering and donations needs are. All animal shelters appreciate monetary donations, and some have lists of specific items or supplies they need donated. You can also get involved hands-on with volunteering: most shelters seek volunteers to walk dogs and pet cats, and offsite adoption events need volunteers to set up and staff. 

Want to go above and beyond? Become a pet foster! Shelter environments can be loud and stressful for pets, and by offering a foster home, you can give them an opportunity to decompress, bond with humans, and prepare for their new forever homes.

5. Book that annual vet visit!

Regular wellness exams at the veterinarian are important to make sure your pet stays healthy, and National Pet Month is a great reminder to book that appointment for your pet! 

During a wellness exam, your pet’s veterinarian will check to make sure your pet is healthy and that any health issues can be caught early. 

It’s also important to make sure your cat or dog is up to date on vaccinations. Some vaccines require annual boosters, 

Are you within a 35-mile radius of Blacksburg? The Small Animal Community Practice at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital provides full-service, outpatient preventive health care to local small animal clients. 

To schedule an appointment, please call 540-231-4621, Monday–Friday, 7 a.m.–5 p.m.

Written by Sarah Boudreau M.F.A. '21, a writer with the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine


Andrew Mann
Director of Communications and Marketing