Wishing you a very Merry Christmas from the Rutland Veterinary Centre Team! Here’s a few tips from us to help ensure a relaxing Christmas for pets and owners alike.
- Remember parasite prevention: -not just fleas, but mites, ticks and lice and worms can be present all year round. No-one wants an infestation emerging at Christmas; so remember to keep your pets up to date with worming and flea treatments.
- A dog (or cat, or rabbit) is for life, not just for Christmas:- decisions made in haste may be regretted later. Take your time. Make sure the whole family is involved in taking on a new family member. Websites like the RSPCA or PDSA have great advice on choosing the right pet for your lifestyle.
- Remember that lots of our Christmas culinary delights are dangerous for pets: chocolate in our Advent calendars, currants, sultanas and raisins in our mince pies, Christmas cake and Christmas pudding, onions and garlic in our stuffing… Keep everything well out of reach.
- Alcohol has a similar effect on pets as it does on humans, and can make them seriously ill. Some pets will help themselves to drinks left unattended.
- If you are travelling to visit friends and family, make sure your pet’s microchip details are kept up-to-date: essential to re-unite you quickly should they get lost.
- Some pets find the excitement of Christmas, parties and visitors a bit too much – make sure they have a quiet, safe place to retreat to if they need time out.
- Watch your pets with Christmas decorations. Some may be highly attractive to play with, and accidental swallowing could lead to a worrying trip to the vets. This is because indigestible material, like plastic, can cause an obstruction in the stomach or bowels.
- Many of our traditional Christmas plants can cause stomach upsets or skin irritation if touched, chewed or swallowed by our pets. Poinsettia, Holly berries, Ivy and Mistletoe can all cause symptoms such as drooling, vomiting and sore stomachs. Ivy and Pine needles can cause skin irritation.
- Careful with the candles: as well as the danger of pets knocking over lit candles, the fumes from some scented candles can cause allergies or respiratory problems for sensitive pets.
- Be seen! Flashing collar tags and reflective collars and jackets can help our pets stay safe from traffic on these dark winter nights.
- Prepare for fireworks: if your pet gets worried by the loud bangs, they are not alone. Stock up on de-stressing remedies and medication, create safe spaces and dens, close the curtains and turn the music up in time for New Year’s celebrations.
- Remember to insulate rabbit and guinea pig hutches with plenty of newspaper and hay, ensure the roof is in good condition and 100% waterproof, and block up any draughts. Check water daily to ensure that it has not frozen. Many people choose to bring small pets in from the cold to a shed or garage in winter, and this should certainly be done in extreme cold weather conditions.
Remember our Christmas Opening Times may be different over the Christmas period, but we are always on call to help you in an emergency. Have a wonderful festive season!