Updated: Nov 23, 2020
The way we refer to animals is a big concern for me and everyone who is currently fighting for animals rights.
As a veterinarian, I stopped using the words "Pet" and "Owner" a few years ago and I encouraged my staff to use "Companion Animal" and "Guardian" instead, respectively. Instead of using "it" to refer to an animal, use her/his.
In my opinion the origin of what is wrong in our treatment towards animals is that most people do not even realize that they refer to and consider animals as "things" or "property". Yes, by law animals are considered our property but we need to start changing ourselves and the way that we see and treat animals if we want to see some laws change in the near future.
Animals are our companions, our children, our friends, and not ours to pet or treat like toys or furniture. We are not their owners, we are their guardians and protectors.
As you will see in the paperwork you receive from my company for you to sign, animals are going to be referred to as "Companion animals" and you as their "Guardian".