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Make December a great month for the pets in your family

Make December a great month for the pets in your family

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Are you planning on spoiling your pets for the upcoming holiday?

If so, you’ll be in good company. One online stat (muchneeded.com) claims that $5 million will be spent on pets from owners in the US and UK alone. According to dogalize.com, over half of American pet owners will buy gifts for their pets this Christmas and will spend an average of $46 per animal.

So, what should you buy because the choices seem endless? Pay attention to how your pets play with toys. Which ones pique their interest? Which ones are safe? How much are you willing to spend? If your dog tends to rip apart soft toys to find the squeaker inside and ingest all the stuffing — you may want to look elsewhere. A durable chew toy or one where your pet must work to get to the treats tucked inside may be a good idea. Even a simple tennis ball can provide hours of exercise and stimulation for a busy dog.

Don’t forget about your cats. They need playtime, stimulation, and exercise too. Laser light toys, furry mice that move with battery power and plain old catnip can be great toys for your cats.

If you decorate for the holidays, make sure you are careful with ornaments around your pets. You won’t want to have treasured ornaments broken because your playful kittens decide to climb your tree as they are chased by your rambunctious dog. Carefully selecting your decorations is important, making sure your family heirlooms aren’t destroyed or endangering your pets by ingesting things they shouldn’t.

This holiday season, the Midlands Humane Society is participating in the “Empty the Shelters” Bissell Pet Foundation adoption event. It will last Dec. 9-13 (regular hours apply and appointments are required). Selected cats and dogs will have a $25 adoption fee. Thanks to the Bissell Pet Foundation who make up a good share of the difference in cost from our regular adoption fees.

We do encourage all potential adopters to really think about adopting a pet before making it final. A good way is to walk through the decision about adopting by using the three “C’s”: consideration, cost and compassion.

Consideration: Consider if now is a good time to adopt a pet. Did you talk to your family about adoption? Does everyone agree on the pet? Who will care for the pet? Where will the pet live — in a kennel, a bedroom, free range? If you’re getting a puppy, are you ready to go outside multiple times per day for it to go potty? Do you have the time and energy for training? Do you have areas for cats to climb, hide out to relax and a sunny window for them to perch upon?

Cost: Are you prepared to financially care for a pet? Are you only getting a pet because you got it for free through social media or from a shelter with a reduced fee adoption?

An adoption fee is only the tip of the iceberg of the costs for the lifetime of a pet. Annual costs for food and supplies, veterinary care, licensing, boarding, and grooming can add up to hundreds, if not thousands of dollars per year, especially if a major illness or injury should occur. Can you afford to repair or replace furniture or clothing that a pet may destroy.

Compassion: Are you prepared to love and care for this pet for its lifetime? Will you remain calm and collected if your new pet isn’t what you hoped for? Can you handle a pet that proves challenging? Do you have the time and patience to dedicate any training a pet may need? Do you have plans if you aren’t able to care for the pet and must give to a family member or friend? Can you handle the day (when it comes) that you need to euthanize your pet? We want everyone that wants a pet to be able to have a pet. But we do want potential adopters to be fully prepared to bring a pet into their lives.

Thinking of all the possible scenarios and having a clear head are critical in getting the right pet at the right time for you. We are happy to discuss breed specific needs and will offer training tips and enrichment suggestions to make the transition of a new pet in your home as easy as possible.

MHS Pets of the Week are brought to you by Urgent Pet Care: Gingersnap is a lovely 1-year old spayed female domestic medium hair and Elsa is a 7-year-old spayed female domestic shorthair.

Miley is an 8-year-old spayed female American Bulldog mix. She is a laid back, go with the flow lady and will be a great addition to a quiet home. Miley is heavy so she does need a dedicated owner who can help her get back down to a healthy weight.

We think she will do well in a home with kids at least 10 years or older. Miley needs to be the only pet in the home.

Mabel is a 2.5-year-old spayed female German Shepherd mix. Mabel is ready to tag along on all your adventures! Running, hiking, biking — she is all in. She loves to learn and will thrive if you can work with her daily.

She is looking for a home that can make training and exercise a priority. At this time we recommend she go to a home with kids 10 and older and will be happiest as your only pet.

Call to make an appointment to meet these great pets or any of their friends. We are open Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Monday through Friday noon to 6 p.m.

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