Since 1981, the first full week in May has been designated National Pet Week® by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). It’s seven days dedicated to celebrating the more than 200 million pets that enrich our lives every day and to promoting responsible pet ownership.

Whether companion, comedian, confidant or protector, our pets are always there for us and don’t ask much in return. National Pet Week® celebrates this bond and encourages pet owners to be certain they provide their best friend with all they need for a happy, healthy life every week of the year.

With that in mind, we wanted to know what mistakes owners make when caring for their pets. So we checked in with one of the extraordinary puzzle solvers of veterinary medicine, Woman You Should Know Dr. Katie McGonigle, DVM, MPH, DACVIM-SAIM.

Dr_McGonigle_loveAs a Board Certified Internal Medicine Specialist, these are the 6 common mistakes Dr. McGonigle sees pet owners making:

1. Not having insurance for their pet

2. Allowing their dogs to be off leash (lots hit by cars)

3. Overfeeding

4. Not keeping up with dental hygiene

5. Not pursuing annual physicals up to age 7 and biannual after that; to assess for physical changes and assess lab work

6. Not spending enough time on training when the pet is young

So thank your kid with claws, paws, a beak, a tail, or scales for being an awesome member of your family with a trip to the vet!