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Criteria for Responsible Care

The ASPCA believes that responsible care includes appropriate amounts of nutritious, species-appropriate food and clean water to support good health; basic veterinary care including vaccinations and parasite control; necessary grooming and training; exercise; social interaction; diligence in identifying and eliminating hazardous substances and situations [See Use of Taste-aversive Additives to Antifreeze, and on Dog Chews/Treats]; using good judgment when exposing pets to potentially stressful situations [see Dressing Pets in Clothes and Costumes]; prompt treatment for illness or injury; and, in the case of dogs, cats, ferrets and rabbits, sterilization before puberty. Depending on species, responsible care also requires the use of collars and identification.