December 1, 2016
It is important to inform your guests of any rules you have with regards to your pets.
Beware of Christmas decorations!
Artificial icicles and snow, garlands and other types of decorations are particularly attractive to kittens and puppies. Small objects (characters in a nativity scene or tree decorations, for example) can be swallowed accidentally and can create an obstruction in the digestive tract. Symptoms to look for are vomiting, loss of appetite, weakness and occasionally soft stools and may require emergency surgery.
Decorative lights and extension cords can cause electrocution if they are chewed.
Place ornaments as high as possible in the tree to avoid tempting felines. Breakable glass ornaments should be avoided since they can cause injuries to paws. It is also important that the tree itself is secure, since it is not unusual for cats and kittens to climb the tree and risk tipping it over.
Ribbons and bows are pretty, but may present a hazard if ingested, particularly by kittens and cats.
If you plan to visit relatives and friends with your pet, make sure there is no rat poison (rodenticide), ant traps, or other insecticides at the home that is hosting you.
Prevent dietary indiscretion
Place hors d’oeuvres and snacks on tables out of the reach of your pets.
Deal with leftovers from the table quickly and place garbage bags in a zone that is inaccessible to your pet before he has a chance to treat them as his own personal lunch box!
If your pet has a tendency to steal food off counters and tables or likes to beg at the table, perhaps it would be best to restrict him to a room of his own until the meal is over.
Plan ahead for a reserve of pet food. Vet clinics and pet food stores are often closed or have limited hours during the holidays. If you are running out of food, a sudden change of diet can cause undesirable digestive problems.
Counter their escape plan!
Close doors firmly and make sure your pet is wearing a collar with clear identification. Unfortunately, escapes are common during the holidays. Noise, loud music, crowded houses, and frequent comings and goings of guests can be stressful for our pets and may cause a desire to escape the excitement. If your pet is an anxious type, it may be preferable to confine him to a quiet, isolated room where he will be secure and calm.
Plan ahead for boarding
The holidays sometimes involve travel. Consideration must be made for your companion animals if you intend to board them while you are away. It is therefore important to have their vaccinations up-to-date. Inform yourself ahead of time about what vaccinations are needed. Most kennels require the kennel cough vaccine (Bordetella bronchiseptica) as well as the base vaccines. The intra-nasal Bordetella vaccine is effective within a few days of administration, whereas the injectable form must be administered at least a month before the boarding date and requires a booster if it is the first time the dog has received the vaccine.
If your pet takes medication, make a list and schedule of administration of any medications for the boarding establishment. Include contact numbers in case of an emergency. It is wise to discuss your budget for emergency care with the guardian ahead of time should vet care be needed while you are away.
If you are travelling by plane, verify the requirements of the airline company and the country you are going to visit. Certain parasite preventions may need to be considered for countries in warmer climates.
We invite you to consult our section on Travel With Your Pet or Choose a Kennel? on our website for more information on this subject.
The team at Hôpital Vétérinaire de L’Île-Perrot
would like to wish you and your family
a very happy holidays!