In Savannah Morning News Column

Resolutions For Your Pets

Savannah Morning News – December 29, 2017 Michelle Thevenin, Chief Executive Officer

Soon after Thanksgiving (and perhaps after a bit of overindulgence), my friends start discussing their resolutions for the new year.  January 1st seems so far away at that point, it’s easy to over promise – no sugar, alcohol or dairy; meditating every day for 15 minutes; going to the gym 5 times a week and spending more time with their families.

At the Humane Society for Greater Savannah, we have some resolutions for you to consider as you celebrate the new year with your pets:

  1. Keep them slim:  We see overweight pets surrendered to us more regularly than you might expect at HSGS.  Carrying extra weight is as dangerous for your pets as it is for you – diabetes, joint pain, heart disease and breathing problems.  And if your pet is in pain, it can also make them a bit cranky so you may encounter behavioral problems.  As with humans, taking off the extra weight can be more difficult than putting it on.  Talk to your vet about the ideal weight for your pet and how to keep them healthy.
  2. Training:  Our shelters around the country are full of adolescent large breed dogs who were cute and cuddly as puppies but too much to handle as teenage dogs.  Training during those first two years is essential and will make the adolescent years more tolerable for you and your pet.  My big shepherd Darwin was returned to a shelter at 6 months old as he became too much to handle for his family.  A few training classes later, his “sit” and “wait” were nearly impeccable and kept me sane.  Check out our training classes at https://www.humanesocietysav.org/training-classes/
  3. Identification:  If your pet gets lost, she is more likely to be returned to you if she is wearing a collar with identification — her name and your phone number.  And in case the collar is lost, your pet should be micro-chipped.  We offer micro-chipping for $15 and our next clinic is Thursday, January 4 from 2-6pm.
  4. Preventatives:  Regular heartworm, flea and tick preventatives are crucial in our climate.  Talk to your vet about what preventative would work best for your pet and use it according to their instructions.    At our clinic on Thursday January 4th, you can get your pet tested for heartworm and purchase appropriate preventatives.
  5. Exercise:  This is a 2-for-1—a daily walk or ramble with your dog will get both of you some exercise and fresh air as well as give you some bonding time.  Playing with your cat (blowing bubbles, dancing feathers, laser pointers) will bring a smile to your face and give you some quality time together.

I am looking forward to celebrating the new year and all that 2018 will have in store for the pets and people we serve at the Humane Society for Greater Savannah.  It’s going to be a remarkable year – thank you all for your support over the past year, we appreciate it!