Holidays & Pets

posted: by: Dawn, RVT Tags: "Clinic Specials" "News" 

The holidays are fast approaching!  Tis the season for scurrying from store to store, party to party, or even hosting one of your own.  Here come the fun decorations, delicious food, and houseguests (or suitcases if you're traveling).  So, what do your pets think of all the Holiday cheer?

Here are a few things to think about as you're planning to celebrtate this holiday season.

1) Holiday Feasts-Keep people food away from pets.  People food is too fatty and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and a condition called Pancreatitis, which typically requires hospitalization.  Warn guests NOT to feed your pets table scraps.  Keep food contained and put away where cats on counters or table surfing dogs can't reach it.  Be sure to keep your trash out of reach of your pets, and don't toss scraps outside as your pet will find them.

2) Bones-Turkey & Ham are popular foods this time of year.  Don't be tempted to give the bones to your pets.  These can splinter in your dog's throat or become lodged in the intestines, requiring surgical removal.

3) Decorations-Remember to keep decorations out of reach of the pets.  Plants, twinkling electrical lights, strings from gifts and wrapping paper can all pose threats for your pets.  Some can cause them to become ill if eaten, while others can get stuck inside and require surgery to remove them.  Get on your pet's level and see what could possibly be in their reach and move it.  Watch especially for climbing cats!

4) Guests-We often have family and friends over for a holiday gathering.  While some pets don't mind the extra people, some can become anxious with the extra commotion.  We recommend secluding pets in a safe, quiet space away from the gathering, either a bedroom or heated basement room.  Walk dogs outside to potty before guests arrive.  You can leave food and water in the room (litter box for the kitties), and even a special treat or toy.  Kongs filled with peanut butter or kong stuffing are a good idea for dogs.  This ensures your pets can't slip out the door with guests or be the recipient of any falling table food.  DAP or Feliway in your pet's room may also help keep them calm.

5) Traveling-Some people elect tot ravel for the holidays-but what about the pets?!  Be sure you make plans for your pets, whether they're traveling with you or staying home.  Many pets would prefer to stay behind during the holiday travels.  Cats are generally fine with someone staying at the house or coming to check on them daily.  Dogs usually need potty breaks outside and play time to expel energy.  A pet sitter in the home or a boarding kennel is ideal.  Be sure to plan ahead, as kennels fill up fast, especially during the holidays.

We hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday!!