By Phillip Snyder, Executive Director
Published in the Englewood Sun on December 7, 2014
What would your pet(s) like for Christmas? What would they most appreciate?
A new collar may be nice. One with their name and address is a good idea. Not that they would memorize it, but it may prove to be very helpful. Certainly a collar that allows the license and rabies tag to be attached would be safest, if he/she would accidentally venture out.
Or even better, how about having your pet microchipped for Christmas? It is truly the best form of identification if your lost pet should wind up at an animal shelter or veterinary clinic. After all, collars and tags can become lost or taken off. Microchipping is permanent.
What about a new toy? Most pets love a new toy, especially for the first two or three minutes before they drop it and go back to their favorite old toy. You will want to make sure the new toy does not have any bells, squeakers or whistles that can be chewed loose. They can become lodged in your pet's throat, or even stuck in their digestive tract. Toys that are indestructible like some KONG hard rubber toys are usually safe. You can even place treats in some of them to make a more challenging and better-tasting toy. Beware of some plastic toys, balls, bones and Frisbees that can splinter and cause great harm.
There are lots of gift choices available for both small, pampered pets and the larger, more stately four-legged family members.
The trick is to find something that makes you feel as though your pet will enjoy receiving it as much as you enjoy giving it. Maybe a new crate, comfortable bed, fancy leash, colorful food bowls, healthy treats, or even a litter box or pooper scooper would make a good gift. I am not sure your pet would notice that he/she has a new pooper scooper, but it could be a gift that would provide benefit to both of you. Your pet's own Christmas stocking can be fun if you can keep your pet from raiding it prior to the holiday.
A great gift idea to consider for the pet that has everything is to make a holiday donation to Suncoast Humane Society in your pet's honor, or in memory of a beloved and cherished pet. Think of the wonderful feeling of helping support the care and adoption of many homeless animals that need forever homes.
I guarantee that when you tell your pet what you have done, he/she will love you even more and probably won't even miss not getting a new litter box or pooper scooper until next year.