“I Don’t Want Turkey, I Just Want You to Get Me Out of Here”
During this Thanksgiving holiday I would like to write something that is not a typical “Pets During the Holiday Danger” kind of article. Since most of those informative pieces contain valuable advice, I will try to summarize the typical worthwhile suggestions to heed during the Thanksgiving celebrations in one sentence: Avoid giving table scraps, definitely no bones, no chocolate, turkey skin contains too much fat and may cause pancreatitis, try not to disturb the pet’s regular routines, watch the front door so the pets don’t escape, and supervise any interaction between pets and children. Now that we have gotten that out of the way, I would like to take the time to share with you the statistics that involve companion animals that don’t even get the chance to be part of a family during the holidays at all, the pets that are locked up in shelters.
According to the ASPCA pet statistics, over 5 million pets go into shelters each year in the U.S., and the national average for pets being euthanized is about 60%. These statistics can be extremely difficult to accept, and you may wonder why I brought this negative information up in the first place. I certainly did not wake up this morning wishing to spread negativity during what should be a joyful time. The reason it is important for each one of us pet lovers to know these statistics is that each one of us has the power to help solve this problem. There is nothing more effective and powerful than a human being making a firm decision to eradicate suffering and then begin taking the steps to accomplish that goal.
From the very first paintings depicting the beginnings of the Thanksgiving celebrations, a dog can usually be seen right beside the pilgrims. It seems that whenever we examine events from an earlier time in our history or from our personal past it is difficult to be neutral and not wear rose-colored glasses. The one fact that has not been contradicted by anyone is that abandoned pets suffer a great deal and do not usually live to their full life expectancy. There are things that we as pet owners can do to become part of the solution. Spay or neuter our own pets, and educate others on the importance of responsible pet breeding and the prevention of unwanted litters.
Some advantages of spaying include reduced risk of mammary gland tumors and decreased risk that the uterus will become infected and create a medical emergency. Getting a dog neutered prevents the later development of prostate problems and testicular tumors. There are also many behavior benefits to having these procedures performed.
Another thing to consider is going to visit your local shelter and to make a donation. If a financial donation is not possible, then maybe you can ask if there is something else you can do to help. Of course if you have the room, resources, and time, adopting one of the pets from your local shelter is another great way to be part of the solution and contribute to saving pets one pet at a time.
Adopting a pet is an extremely rewarding experience and the rewards continue paying dividends of love for years to come. After adopting a pet however you must be prepared to provide your new family member with a safe home, good quality food, and also with other needs such as veterinary visits, vaccines, and medications. Along with quality pet food, giving a vitamin such as Super Vitachews along with an Omega-3 supplement helps keep the cells and organs maintained and healthy.
Some other medications that your pet will also probably need to be on regularly are heartworm preventatives and flea and tick prevention. Getting your new companion on a good care plan from the start will also require routine visits to the veterinarian. If you need any medication related advice please feel free to also contact your 1800PetMeds pharmacist who will be more than happy to help you.
Historically, Thanksgiving is a time for family, fun, food, football, and celebrations. This holiday is also a time for reflecting on all the things that we have already been blessed with, a time for quiet contemplation, and prayer, accompanied with overflowing feelings of gratitude. Another last recommendation that we can all do that will not cost us a penny is to include all the sick and suffering pets into our prayers and keep a place for them in our hearts. There is nothing that can’t be accomplished with feelings of gratitude that are accompanied with love for others whether human or animal.