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5 Tips Your Veterinarian Wants You to Know This Holiday Season



This time of year is especially busy as pet parents dash off to holiday events, host out-of-town guests, and fill their homes with holiday joy. It’s also a time that can impact the health and happiness of our pets. Here are five tips from veterinarians to ensure your furry friends have a safe and happy holiday season.

1. Make Sure Gifts Match Personality

Everyone loves watching their dog or cat discover a new holiday treat or toy. However, new gifts, especially from people unfamiliar with your pet’s personality, could be an issue. If your dog notoriously chews through plush toys, stick to non-destructible options like Kong® or Nylabone® toys. Ensure any toy given to your pet is durable and safe.

For pets with food allergies, always check the ingredients in any treats or flavored bones to avoid triggering a reaction. Also, consider the size of your pet when selecting gifts to prevent choking hazards. Puzzle feeders can keep energetic pups engaged, while an orthopedic bed can provide comfort for senior pets.

For cats, puzzles, interactive toys, and ball chasers are great gifts. Avoid toys with strings or long threads to prevent accidental ingestion and a possible vet visit.

2. Prep for Travel Ahead of Time

The holidays often involve traveling, and many pet parents bring their animals along. Ensure your pet's travel carrier is appropriately sized, allowing them to stand, sit, and turn around comfortably. Add clip-on food and water bowls for long trips.

If your pet experiences motion sickness or anxiety, consult your veterinarian for recommendations on supplements or medications. Practice short car trips to help your pet get used to the carrier and the car before the actual trip.

3. Keep Safe Spaces Top of Mind as Guests Visit

Pets may not enjoy holiday visitors as much as we do. Knowing how your dog or cat reacts to strangers helps in creating a comfortable environment. Provide a "safe space" away from the noise and commotion, equipped with food, water, and a litter box for cats. Ensure this area is climate-controlled and well-ventilated.

Educate your guests about not feeding your pets from the table and provide a list of safe foods for your dog or cat. If your pet shows signs of anxiety during the holidays, consult your veterinarian for potential solutions, including behavioral modification, training, or supplements.

4. Treat Senior Pets With Care and Consideration

Senior pets require special attention during the holidays. If traveling, prioritize their comfort with extra orthopedic bedding and frequent rest stops to prevent stiffness and bladder issues. Ensure they have their medications and monitor interactions with guests, especially young children.

Provide a quiet, safe space for senior pets to retreat from the holiday hustle and bustle.

5. Update Your Emergency Veterinarian Information

Vet clinics often update their hours during the holidays. Ensure you have the most current information regarding office hours and know the contact details of an emergency or 24-hour vet in your area.

Stock up on your pet's medications, flea/tick preventatives, heartworm preventatives, or special diets well before the holidays begin. Keep a record of vaccinations handy if you need to see a different vet or make last-minute boarding arrangements.

This time of year is full of joy and cheer, and with proper organization, you can ensure your pet is set up for a relaxing and safe holiday. For more tips and information, visit K9reproduction.com.


dog at holiday
dog at holiday

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