Monday 7 December 2015

Tips for the holiday season

With decorations lining the streets and carols filling the supermarkets, I think that it is safe to say that the festive season is well and truly upon us! With all the chaos that comes with the silly season it can be difficult to remember the extra risks to our pets that come with this time of year. This is a little reminder of things that you can do to help ensure that your fur and feather children have a happy and safe holiday period.


It is important to mindful of how the warm weather affects out pets. Older animals, overweight animals, animals with heart disease, brachycephalic animals (“squishy face animals”- thinks Pugs, Boxers, Bulldogs and Persian cats), and pocket pets (e.g. rabbits, guinea pigs and birds) are most susceptible to hot weather. It is a good idea to avoid exercise in the heat of the day, provide ample shade and multiple, plentiful water sources. And remember that dogs die in hot cars- NEVER leave your pets unattended in the car, not even for a minute! For more information on heat stroke and how to beat the heat please refer to our blog “Are you ready for warmer weather?”


Unfortunately many animals become  lost at this time of year. With holidays and fireworks, many of our furred family can become frightened and escape. You can minimise the risk of escape by ensuring that your yard is well secured and by bringing your animals indoors during firework displays. Ensure that your pet is wearing a collar and ID tag and that their microchip details are up to date.


If you are lucky enough to be traveling over the holiday period, it is important to remember this pet travel check list:

-        Ensure that vaccinations are up to date (essential for animals who will be staying in boarding kennels and catteries).

-        Ensure that parasite prevention is up to date (particularly heart worm and paralysis tick prevention if travelling north with your pet)

-        Ensure that you have an adequate supply of medications or prescription foods

-        Ensure that you have water and food supplies for long car journeys with your animal

-        Ensure that contact details (microchip and ID tag) are up to date

If you are traveling without your pet please make sure that there is a plan in place in the event that they should become unwell. Ensure that the person taking care of your pets knows about any pre-existing medical conditions and which vet to take your pet to in the event of an emergency.


As the festive season approaches, please remember that a pet for Christmas is a pet for life! Puppies and kittens will live for at least 10 years (well beyond this holiday period). If you cannot emotionally and financially commit to them for their entire life, do the animals a favour and get some socks instead!


Avoid a common Christmas emergency trip to the vet by ensuring that your pet doesn't help themselves to any Christmas or BBQ food. Unfortunately we often see a few very sick animals after they have gotten into rich food, the rubbish bin or even a full kebab stick. As much as we love seeing you we would rather keep your pets safe and happy.

The team at Bendigo Animal Hospital wish you and your animals a very happy and healthy holiday season!

Dr Jess

Happy Holidays!