Pet Life in YMM
Fort McMurray has been my home for 12 years. And, for the past seven, I have become the ultimate YMM Pet Parent.
I have attended an endless number of pet-themed events and hosted our own. I’ve fundraised and volunteered for pets, as well as, purchased items from every pet store throughout the region, making my dog Rolo (a former Fort McMurray SPCA adoptable) and I great YMM Pet Ambassadors.
Just remember, the most important thing you can do as a pet owner is spending time with them. The following is a list of pet resources available throughout our community.
There are many year-round events in Fort McMurray for the whole family. Some hosted by entrepreneurs, businesses and even pet parents raising money for animal rescues. The FMSPCA hosts their annual gala – this year it’s themed ‘Midnight in Gotham’, which takes place on October 27. Pets can even attend events like Winky Day and The Walk to End Animal Abuse. Check out the Fort McMurray Pet Network on Facebook to find out the latest local pet events.
Volunteering + Donations
Volunteering – and donating – to the FMSPCA is one of the most valuable ways you can help animals. There are many ways to do that by kitty & puppy socialization, fostering animals, donating your bottles, walking dogs and volunteering at events. Also, by sharing FMSPA’s posts on social media can help the cause receive exposure. Volunteering with the FMSPCA is one of the most rewarding experiences because you make a difference, learn new skills, meet new people and have fun!
Looking for something to do with your pet? Local dog parks are a wonderful place for pets to burn off energy without their leash. The parks offer wide-open spaces to allow plenty of room for playing fetch and other activities.
Dog parks are located in Thickwood on Signal Road – behind St. Gabriel’s School; Waterways at Sitskaw Park on Saline Creek Drive; Beacon Hill, across from Good Shepherd School on Beacon Hill Drive and the FMSPCA at 155 MacAlpine Crescent.
Walking trails are available across the city. And, it’s a great way to strengthen your bond with your pet, as it helps with weight control and increases physical and mental health. Remember to keep your pet leashed and have a tag with up-to-date contact information. Most important, carry along poop bags to pick up after them and dispose of waste properly.
Great trails are located in Abasand. Park at the OHV Staging area on Abasand Drive, across from Ecole Boreal School and take in some great views of the Horse River. At the Snye, beautiful walking trails are paved along the river and perfect for if you’re pushing a stroller. If you part at the boat launch, you can walk all the way around MacDonald Island. On the Birchwood Trails, there are many trails to go exploring with different options for difficulty. The trail system is 130 kilometres throughout Thickwood and Timberlea.
Merritt-born, Kimberley Matchem is social media and marketing coordinator for Early Start Learning Centre. Most important, she’s wife to Brett and mother to her ten-year-old, step-son Cameron, two-year-old daughter Tenley and her adopted pet Rolo. As owner and creator of the pet blog ‘Confessions of a Rescue Mom’, she loves supporting animals the Fort McMurray SPCA. Read more from Kimberley at confessionsofarescuemom.com.
YMM Pet Parent Resources
Wood Buffalo Small Animal Hospital
780-715-9369 • wbsah.ca
Aurora Vet Clinic
780-715-1127 • auroravetclinic.ca
Fort McMurray Animal Hospital
780-743-4044 • fortmcmurrayanimalhospital.com
Animal Control Services
T: 780-762-5858 • rmwb.ca
YMM Pet parent Must-haves for Fall & Winter
These protect your dog’s feet from the elements, road salt and other hazards which we know are up here in Northern Alberta. Our favourite is the Canine Equipment Trail Boots. They have a rubber-gripped sole like a hiking boot and stay on very well.
This item is great for adding moisture back into your pup’s pads to keep them from cracking. From personal experience, I recommend Fou-Stick Protect, SOOS Pets Rescue Remedy with minerals from the Dead Sea or Kelp Dog Paw Balm.
For fall, pumpkin is all the rave! I sometimes put pumpkin puree (don’t confuse this with pumpkin pie filling) on top of Rolo’s food. He loves it. It also keeps him feeling full, which is great when we are trying to counteract his weight gain from his daily medication. It’s a win-win. During the winter, cranberry and turkey flavoured dog treats are festive. Cranberries help his urinary tract. And, turkey can make him feel like he’s joining us for Christmas dinner.