Dec 21 2012

Holiday Pet Advice!

The holidays are right around the corner. Whether we like it or not, they can be stressful – for you and your pet. To make this holiday season a little brighter, we have compiled a list on a handful of topics and included our top tidbits of advice.

Winter is here and with it comes snow, ice and frigid temperatures. Here are some tips for keeping your pet toasty and safe in the cold.

As a general rule, if you’re cold enough to want to go indoors, your pet probably is too.

Do not let your dog off the leash in snow or ice because they can lose their scent and get lost. More dogs are lost in winter so make sure yours has ID tags.

After being outside, always wipe a dog’s paw pads and belly with warm water and dry thoroughly. This will help clean off salt, which can cause cracked skin and bleeding. This will also prevent them from ingesting chemicals like antifreeze.

Keeping warm depletes energy and requires more caloric intake so make sure your pet is well-fed. Foods that are high in protein are best for keeping animals warm. Keep the water dish full too.

According to the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), more than 53 percent of pets travel with their owners. Traveling by car or plane can be rough on your furry companions so make sure to plan accordingly.

When traveling by car, make sure to bring food and water for rest stops. Smaller, more frequent meals are a good idea for long rides. You won’t have to worry that the pet will be hungry. Walk or jog around during rest stops, pets need to stretch too.

The closer your pet sits to the front of the vehicle, the better. The front of the car has less motion which means a decreased chance of car sickness.

Secure your pet, for its safety and yours too. Using a crate or a harness prevents distraction, keeps the car clean and will hinder the animal from sticking its head out the window. Using a divider between the front of the car and the backseat will keep an animal from sitting on your lap or getting under your feet.

Nearly 5,000 pets are lost or killed each year when flying. When traveling by plane, make sure your pet wears an ID tag. If possible, think about getting a microchip. Microchips store a lot of data and never come off. Tape a picture of your animal and your contact information to its cage or crate.

Each airline has their own rules associated about animals, cages and fees. Make sure to check in advance to prevent last-minute problems before your trip. All animals must be at least eight-weeks-old and weaned for five days.

Don’t feed your pet four to six hours before flying. Bring a container of frozen water with you to prevent spillage.

Sometimes leaving your pet at home is the best option. The winter holiday season is one of the busiest for kennels, so plan far in advance and follow these tips.

Do some research. You wouldn’t leave your children with strangers, so we suggest you don’t leave your pets without looking into different kennels.

Make sure you understand what you are getting into – policies, billing, food and exercise schedules, hours for pickup and drop-off. It is better to ask questions.

Check the facility for cleanliness and odors. Take note of the other animals and their interaction with staff.
 
Summer Valley Veterinary Clinic
Aurora Veterinary
www.summervalleyvet.com

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