With the silly season approaching, our team have a few sensible suggestions on how to help keep your pet in top form and (hopefully) avoid any after-hours veterinary visits!
- Being extra organised with prescriptions
Whilst missing a few days of regular prescription medication is never ideal, in some cases (such as pets requiring anti-seizure drugs), it may lead to a dangerous flare-up in your pet’s illness, which can be challenging to settle.
If your pet is on prescription medications, checking your stock at least a week before public holidays is sensible. If you need to top up, letting us know this far in advance gives us time to order that medication if required.
- Avoiding dietary upset
If your pet is on a prescription diet, stock up before the holiday season so you don’t have to make sudden food swaps that could upset their tummy.
Even if your pet has no special dietary requirements, it’s a good idea only to offer them healthy seasonal treats in limited amounts, as a sudden gorging session on any unfamiliar food can lead to symptoms of dietary upset.
Lastly, never feed your pet foods known to be toxic or otherwise dangerous to cats and dogs, such as cooked bones, fatty meats, rawhide, chocolate, onion, garlic, grapes, or sultanas.
- Continue parasite prevention
Whilst you’re kicking back over the holiday season, don’t forget to keep your pet protected against external parasites such as fleas (and, in some areas, ticks). These nasty critters tend to be more active during the warmer times of the year.
While fleas may trigger skin irritation and infection in sensitive-skinned pets, paralysis ticks can cause life-threatening weakness and breathing problems requiring intensive emergency and after-hours veterinary treatment.
If you’re unsure about the safest and most effective parasite-prevention products for your pet, consult our helpful team!
- Care with houseguests
If you are having guests over for Christmas celebrations, take some time to ensure that your pet is comfortable and safe, even if things get a bit merry.
It’s a good idea to arrange a “quiet zone” where your pet can go if they feel overwhelmed or need to be safely confined if doors are likely left open. Ensure this area is well-ventilated, and set up a fan if it’s hot or humid. Take dogs for a walk before helping tire them out, and leave your pet with a comfy bed and some water (and kitty litter for cats).
- Fireworks safety
Around Christmas and New Year’s Eve, celebratory fireworks can be terrifying for some pets and may trigger panicked escape attempts.
Before any expected firework events, ensure your pet has toileted, and then offer them a secure confined area they feel safe to retreat to. For dogs, this may involve a crate or table covered with a thick blanket or quilt, whilst cats may like to hide under beds or retreat into cupboards.
If you know that your pet is sensitive to loud noises, you can also consult our experienced vets about the potential usage of safe and effective calming medications.
For more help keeping your pet safe this festive season, consult our seasonally-savvy team!