Friday, December 19, 2014

What does your dog really want for Christmas? (Hint: Your help)

Sinead the Boston terrier and her presents

If you're anything like me, your pets have presents under the tree. In fact, it's likely that you have a number of wee little gifts tucked away, so you can give your dogs a big surprise on December the 25th.

Now, I enjoy giving my dogs little presents from time to time. And when those gifts are edible, my dogs are thrilled to get them. But it might be time to take a little pause to think about what's best for all pets, not just the ones we have at our feet.

Consider this: The Humane Society of the United States suggests that there are 6 million to 8 million dogs and cats in American shelters right now. And millions of them don't make it out of those shelters alive, even if they're healthy and adoptable.

Before you pick up another toy for your pet or another box of cookies, consider donating to your local shelter instead. Chances are, your pet might not need something new. But a pup waiting for a home in a shelter certainly would appreciate the gesture. It might make that wee one just a touch happier, and that could make the pup more eager to interact with visitors. That's just the kind of thing that gets dogs adopted.

Liam the pug with his Christmas snowmen

So what would your pet like instead?

Mine would enjoy a little more lap time. In fact, they'd probably love it if I spent an entire day off of the computer. That way, I'd have my hands free to pet them, throw toys for them and otherwise handle their every wish. They'd probably like that a lot more than presents. Maybe your dog would feel the same.

And if you have a lonely pet, why not consider adopting a companion this Christmas season? There are plenty of wee dogs, big dogs, active dogs and lazy dogs all languishing in shelters right now. There's bound to be one that could be your dog's BFF, and during the holiday season, you might have vacation time open in which to help the dog make a smooth transition.

As for me, I'll be taking some of my own advice. I'll be stepping away from the computer until the new year, and lavishing my pets with attention. I look forward to seeing you in 2015. And, if you haven't had a chance to "like" the fan page yet, I urge you to do so! That could be your gift to me.

Have a safe and happy holiday season, everyone!