Get an identity tag for your pet’s collar: Pets often go missing during vet visits and festivals like Diwali. Getting them an engraved identity tag (like a pendant on a collar, on embossed on the collar itself) with their name and your number can save you a lot of trouble in the event that he goes missing. If your pet is a pedigree, get him or her spayed / neutered by a reputed vet and add to the pendant that birth control has been done. This discourages theft by breeders.

Be meticulous about vaccination and de-worming: Missing a vaccination schedule could be fatal – maintain a record with your pet’s immunizations and get regular de-worming done to avoid health complications.

Make the ‘forever’ promise: Like people, our pets too can fall sick or start to require special needs. Resolve never to abandon them on the streets or in a shelter when they get old or begin to battle an illness, for that’s when they need their family the most.

Train with patience: Dogs respond best to positive reinforcement and reward-based training methods. Stick to encouragement and vet-approved treats, and avoid hitting them or hiring a harsh trainer who will overpower the pet by causing fear. Choke collars cause severe damage or death and must be avoided at all costs.

Don’t play doctor: Quick fixes and self-medication are always a bad idea. Avoid using internet research or human medication on animals as this could be deadly. If your pet appears to need medical attention even for a small issue, use only a trusted veterinarian’s advice.

Make time for your pet: Both cats and dogs need frequent human interaction in the form of petting or games, and a few toys to call their own. If you are in the process of adopting a pet, consider adopting two if you can afford to maintain them, so they will have each other for company when family members are at work.

Adopt one, don’t buy one: Don’t have a companion animal yet? Remember that there are too many animals and too few homes. Adopt an orphaned or abandoned pet, rather than contribute to the breeding industry.

Looking to adopt a pet this year? Contact Chennai Adoption Drive at 8939311148 to take home a vaccinated puppy like the one in the picture.

This one-year-old cat and her siblings are intelligent, affectionate and friendly. Call 8190806290 for adoption.

This six-month-old female kitten (with a clear white streak on the middle of her back) went missing last week from Indira Nagar, Adyar (near Kasturba Nagar). Call 99400-62462 if you find her.

Gorgeous three-month-old Oliver is a vaccinated male who's ready for adoption. Call 9884714699

These vaccinated healthy puppies are ready for adoption. Email your number to jayashrimani@airtelmail.in for adoption.

This playful kitten and his friends are affectionate, active and ready for adoption. Call 9941628465 or 9841236008

This male, healthy, playful vaccinated kitten is five months old and follows people around like a puppy. Call 9381050221