National Pet Week is May 5-11 this year. I bring it up early because the Auxiliary to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is already seeking entries for next year’s poster and writing contests.

The deadline is May 10, 2013 and the contests are open to students in kindergarten through 12th grade. The winners receive $100, so tell any young, animal-crazy friends or family members that you may have about this opportunity. The theme for 2014 is “Celebrate a Healthy Pet.”

Take a look at the winning entries for 2013 for inspiration. This year’s theme is “Love Your Pet, See Your Vet.”

Trey Favaloro of Baton Rouge, La., was in third grade when he submitted his drawing that won the poster contest.

Jasmine Jimenez of New York City was in ninth grade when she submitted the winning poem:

A True Pet’s Friend

Whether you have a dog, cat, bird, or rodent
Don’t you dare waste another second.
If you love your pet
Take him or her to the vet.
They don’t have to be sick or need any repair
Just take them for a trip to show them you care.

If you want your pet to love you making sure they’re healthy is a must
When they sense that you’re helping them they start to develop a sense of trust.
Knowing they have a friend makes their heart’s beat ever so gentle
So make sure to get them checked for illness, diet and dental.
Sure buying toys can really make a pet content
But that happiness only last for a moment.

The best gift you can give them is a healthy life that lasts long
When visiting his doctor, nothing can go wrong.
Go ahead and make an appointment
With your pet’s health you can’t lose a moment.
Because when it comes time they need some love to be around
They know where a sincere, dear friend can be found.

See the AVMA Auxiliary’s website for more information about the poster contest and creative writing contest. Good luck!

Dr. Jennifer Coates

Image: sianc / via Shutterstock