These are just a few of the dogs and cats available for adoption at the County Animal Services shelters in Carlsbad and Bonita. Photo courtesy of the County of San Diego.

The County of San Diego has some tips that could help pet owners take even better care of their furry companions throughout the year.

Here are seven New Year’s resolutions from County Animal Services:

VACCINATE YOUR DOG OR CAT AGAINST RABIES

State law requires dogs older than three months to be vaccinated against rabies. The vaccine is highly effective and important to have due to the threat of rabies from wildlife. A dog’s first rabies vaccination is good for one year and subsequent vaccinations last three years.

LICENSE YOUR DOG

The law requires dogs to be licensed by five months old. If your dog is more than five months old, you have 30 days to get it licensed after you obtain it or bring it into the state.

REGISTER YOUR PET WITH FINDING ROVER

It’s free to register your dog or cat with Finding Rover, which partners with shelters and rescue groups to help identify found pets and reunite them with their families through the use of facial recognition software. Upload a photo of your pet to register.

MICROCHIP YOUR DOG, CAT OR RABBIT

And then be sure to keep the information up to date.

A microchip is a tiny transponder that is injected under your pet’s skin. If Fido, Fluffy or Bunnykins is ever brought to a shelter, a hand-held device scans the microchip and reads the owner information. Some veterinary offices have scanners, too.

HAVE YOUR DOG OR CAT FIXED

Spaying or neutering your pet is important for its health and for helping to reduce the number of unwanted animals in shelters.

Altering your pet may prolong its life, says County Animal Services, adding that the risk of certain cancers is lowered in animals that are surgically fixed.

CREATE A DISASTER PLAN THAT COVERS YOUR PETS

Our pets are part of our family. As such, pet parents are urged to take steps to be prepared to keep safe in an emergency.

Here’s how to create a pet emergency kit, and care for your pet during a natural disaster.

PLAY WITH YOUR PET!

Just be sure to give your dog or cat the attention they deserve. Dogs love to play indoors or at the dog park. And cats love to chase toys, too. Best of all, they’ll pay you back with snuggles and their own boundless affection.

County Animal Services offers microchips and rabies vaccinations during normal business hours at its two shelter locations in Carlsbad and Bonita, no appointment necessary. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

For more information, go to https://www.sddac.com/

— Staff report

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