Exclusive: Michael Vartan Never Rushes His 'Best Friend,' Dog Millie

06/09/2011 at 04:30 PM EDT

Though he's often busy shooting scenes for his TNT show HawthoRNe, or playing husband to wife Lauren Skaar, Michael Vartan never takes for granted the other leading lady in his life, chocolate Lab Millie.

"Spending quality time with my best friend Millie is always at the top of my list," he says in a new video for PETA, which provides tips on how to better parent your pet.

"When I take her on a walk, I make sure she gets to sniff as long as she wants," Vartan says. "And it's up to her whether she walks, runs or even sunbathes. I always remember this is her walk, so I don't pull on her and I don't rush her."

Reminding fellow pet owners that it is the human who decides how and when dogs get to eat, exercise or even relieve themselves, the actor encourages fellow animal lovers to take their pet's best interests to heart.

"These things may seem small to us," Vartan says, "but to our dogs, they mean the world."

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