Winter Pet Health Check
Most of us treat our pets like part of the family, and many even consider them to be like children. We would never willingly put our family in danger, let alone our pets, but over the Christmas period we need to be extra vigilant to protect their health. Only when they are poorly, do we fully understand the extent of how different the human body works to that of a cat or a dog. With that in mind, please heed our Pet Health Check – winter edition advice.
Food and Drink
- Pets eat pet food, not human food. While the occasional treat shouldn’t do too much harm, feeding your pets rich, fatty food over the Christmas period can cause tummy upsets and diarrhoea as their little bodies process foods differently.
- Hide the chocolate! There is an abundance of chocolate about at Christmas which can be tempting to many dogs, so please put it out of their reach to save them from themelves!
- Never give your pets cooked bones, as they can splinter and perforate or tear the stomach or bowel.
- Never leave alcohol unattended! Dogs and cats both like to mimic human behaviour like opening doors, but they also know that glasses are for drinking from. Keep the alcohol under wraps.
Around the HomeChristmas trees are very attractive and shiny, with their glittery, twinkly decorations. Cats love to climb them, and dogs love to jump up at them. Keep your hard work upright with a few simple tips, as well as some general tips on keeping your pets safe around the home this winter.
- Don’t use tinsel or lights on the lower parts of the tree that pets can reach – they love to chew and an electric shock or expanse of tinsel in their tummies will do a lot of harm.
- Many flowers and plants can be toxic to animals, even if they do look pretty. Lilies, poinsettias, holly and mistletoe are particularly noxious for cats and dogs, so avoid using these in your decorations.
- Keep fires guarded and watch your pets around them.
- If you are having a party or get together over the festive season, then keep your pets isolated to avoid upsetting them.
- Microchipping your pets is highly beneficial if they get spooked and run away during the party season. The microchip allows for a vet or animal shelter to identify and contact the owner. Microchipping will also be compulsory for dogs as of April 2016.
- Not only does having a collar with dog tags or cat name tags on your dog or cat make it easier for a quick, safe return should they go walk-about, it is also a legal requirement for your pooch to have the name and address of their owner inscribed on the collar or on attached tags.
- Don’t leave anti-freeze lying around. Pets love the taste of it, but it is known to be lethal if ingested.
- Crackers can frighten pets too – make sure they are out of the room when you crack yours.
Out and About
- Pets feel the cold too – get them little jackets to keep them warm when they are outdoors. They’d love our Kennel Club Canine Boutique Christmassy green and red sweaters, and the waterproof coat will keep them dry until they can get home to snuggle in the luxurious blanket.
- Frost and ice can hurt their paw pads as much as it is slippery and dangerous for us, so be careful when walking dogs.
- Grit can irritate and even dry out pads, so look out for dried, cracked and bloody pads as this can be very painful.
- Grit is an irritant so be sure that your pets don’t lick their paws when they get in!
- If you are going away to visit family and loved ones but can’t take your pets, arrange a trip to the cattery or kennel well in advance if you can’t have a friend look after them.