Honoring our 4-legged family members on National Dog Day

Celebrating National Dog Day (WRDW-TV, August 26, 2012)

Celebrating National Dog Day (WRDW-TV, August 26, 2012)

You can find all the pictures of you and your pets on our Facebook page here.

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- The parks were full of wagging tails and wet noses on Sunday -- all signs of happy and healthy dogs. When it comes to appreciating your pet, keeping him healthy is one of the best ways to show you care.

"He's definitely made me more responsible because instead of just having to take care of myself, I have to think about what would be good for him," said dog owner Laura Kembrel.

Some go into law enforcement. Some go into medicine, but they all appreciate a good belly rub.

Dogs are a part of many families' lives, but owners know having a dog is not always a walk in the park.

"It's kinda like having a child a little bit. It's a real big responsibility. You gotta keep an eye on her all the time -- make sure she's safe," owner Bruce Wilson said.

"We are his parents. So, we have to make sure he has a good life," Kembrel said.

Veterinarian Holly Woltz says pets are living five to 10 years longer now. She says having a relationship with your vet is the first step to keeping them at your side for those extra years.

"Get the routine preventative care -- the vaccines, the deworming, the testing for different diseases. We can make them live longer, and oh, that's what we want. I mean they are truly the heart of the family in many situations, we get attached, too," Kembrel said.

Dr. Woltz says hookworm is the number one parasite, but heartworm is more common in the Southeast. Both have monthly treatments.

Despite the extra work, owners say it's more than worth it to have the love of a dog.

"She's kinda like my best friend, I guess. It's just something I can't do without, I don't think," Wilson said.

"He loves unconditionally. It doesn't matter if you're in a bad mood or you left him in the kennel for a couple hours while you go to the store, as soon as you get home, he's all over you licking and wanting to play, and it's worth it to have somebody that loves you unconditionally like that," Kembrel said.

Woltz says preventative care is always the best option, and it tends to be cheaper, too.

You can find all the pictures of you and your pets on our Facebook page here.


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