May 6-12 is National Pet Week. This year’s theme is "Healthy Pets Make Happy Homes."

You might be wondering why I am bringing this up almost two months early. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Auxiliary holds an annual writing and poster contest to commemorate National Pet Week, and the swag (posters, banners, Frisbees, balloons, coloring books, pencils and more) that are based in part on the winners’ work are now available to the general public.

Recognizing National Pet Week is a great way for animal-centered businesses and nonprofits to celebrate responsible pet ownership and recognize the human-animal bond. The money raised goes to support the AVMA Auxiliary’s mission of "promoting the science and art of veterinary medicine through communication, education, and support of those associated with the profession." See the National Pet Week website for more information.

Stephanie Jensen of Grantsville, Utah won the poster contest with her depiction of a happy home.


The winner of the writing contest was Emma Jewell, a fifth grader from Lincoln, Nebraska. Here is her poem. Well said Emma!

The Happy Home Recipe

A healthy pet is a happy pet;
That means that they don't
rip up curtains,
Or "go" in the house,
Or decide to raid the fridge.

A healthy pet is a happy pet;
And when they're happy,
They usually behave.
That makes their owners happy, too.

A healthy pet is a happy pet;
So their owners don't mind
If (once and a while)
They decide to chase a squirrel on the evening walk.

A healthy pet is a happy pet;
Paradise is a nap in the sun,
A favorite squeaky toy,
Not an "all you can eat of your owner's chocolate stash" buffet!

The recipe:
Happy, healthy pets +
Nice owners =
A happy home.

Dr. Jennifer Coates



Image: Smile Dog! By OakleyOriginals / via Flickr