If you're thinking of getting a new pet or have questions on care and services for your current pet, it's time to go back to school. Starting this weekend, Pets Are Like Family is kicking off monthly free Pet Care 101 Workshops on Chicago's Northwest side to help give pet families the tools to keep their pets as members of their household.
The workshops feature a variety of pet professionals talking about how to choose the right pet, how to prepare for a new pet, and how to understand, train and care for your pet. Veterinary professionals will also be on hand to talk about how to know when to take your pet to the vet.
Keeping pet families together
The organization was founded by Chicago Animal Advocate Alicia Obando who combined her professional background as a social worker and passion for animals to create this approach to pet education. Pets Are Like Family offers educational programs and other services in Chicago's underserved communities with the goal to keep pets with their families. Often families must give up their pet because they are not aware of low-cost programs available or just haven't had proper coaching on training and caring for pets.
Saturday's Pet Care 101 Workshop gets underway at 10 a.m. at the Logan Square Library at 3030 W. Fullerton. There will be a workshop on July 27 at Mozart Park and one on August 24 at Kelvyn Park. Obando says that some of the key topics at the workshops will be.
- PALF Overview - pet responsibility, pet safety, dog laws;
- Basic Veterinary Care - wellness exams, vaccinations, parasite prevention, spay/neuter;
- Dog Behavior and Training - behavior management tools and techniques, potty training, how dogs learn;
- Cat Care - nutrition, litter box maintenance, elimination issues, play and exercise;
Special services to help pet families
The organization also works to connect pet families in need with affordable services.
"Blackie is a miniature poodle that was overweight, lethargic and losing his hair," says Obando. "A trip to the vet found that he was hypothyroid and just needed some inexpensive medication to get him back on track. His hair grew back and his energy increased and his parents have him on a diet to get him back in shape."
In the past year, her group has also helped a single mother who reached out for help to feed her dogs after losing her job. PALF supplied dog food, bowls, leashes and educational material to help her out. A senior on social security also reached out for help to have hier Chihuahuas' get up to date on vaccinations and to get them spayed.
Pets Are Like Family has a lot of good information on their Website and Facebook page. They have also stared an educational video series to help followers learn more of the basics of pet care. The first installment is below.
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