Pets and the Holidays with @AVMAvets

Just in time for the excitement of the holiday season, the wonderful Dr. Doug Aspros, from the Bond Animal Hospital, has offered us some valuable advice when caring for our precious pets.

If we have a holiday party, should we let our pet be with the guests or not?

Mixing guests and pets often doesn’t work out very well advises Dr. Aspros, instead he suggests that closing off your pets in a bedroom or, another protected area, might be the better solution. Owners know their own pets, so the solution will have to suit the needs of your particular pet. However, it is important to keep in mind that just because you are happy to see your friends, doesn’t mean your pets might not feel the same way. Changes from routine such as new people and loud noises can cause great anxiety for your pets. For some pets, the stress from these routine deviations can cause soiling, chewing, scratching, or even the potential to harm guests. Dr. Aspros also stresses that it is important to remember that pets are allergic to a lot of the foods we serve during the holidays. Often your guest will be unaware of these hidden dangers and could potentially feed your pet something poisonous to them. The best bet is to keep them stashed away
somewhere safe!

What should we do if our pet eats something they shouldn’t?

Dr. Aspros suggests that the first thing to do, if you have a concern about your pet eating something they should not have, is to serve them a healthy meal. Even if they are not showing any symptoms of illness, a big meal will likely help anything inappropriate pass.

If an object is accidentally swallowed, compelling your pet to vomit can help remove the item. Serving them a few tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide or placing a bit of salt in the back of their throat will induce vomiting.

Dr. Aspros always recommends that you call your own vet and see what they suggest given the particular circumstances. If your vet is closed over the holidays, call a 24 hour vet clinic or emergency clinic if the situation is serious.

What are your thoughts on travelling with pets over the holidays?

Although dogs generally like car travel, cats are usually not big fans. Dr. Aspros recommends leaving your cat at home whenever possible, as a car ride can prove to be incredibly stressful. If you are required to travel with kitty, then be sure that they are in a proper carrier and secured to the floor.

Dogs are a bit different story; Dr. Aspros proposes that if your dog enjoys car rides then there is no harm in bringing them along! Be sure to properly secure your dog in the car by anchoring them to a seatbelt instead of letting them move around. There are plenty of products on the market today that allow you to attach you dog to a passenger seatbelt or to the floor of an SUV or hatchback. If not properly secured, in the unfortunate case of an accident, a pet can become a dangerous projectile.

Can I give a pet as a gift?

This is a big no, no. Although it seems like a wonderful gift, Dr. Aspros suggests that
holidays are not really the right time to be giving a pet. There are too many other
distractions during this time, so the new companion will be competing with lots of other

Dr. Aspros stresses that a pet is a long-term commitment. One that is emotional,
psychological and physical. It is important that the owner themselves plays a part in this
choice, and gifting makes that a challenge.

Where can we find more information?

Dr. Aspros suggests the following sites for additional information about keeping your pet
happy and safe, no matter the season.

Happy holidays everyone!

*Guest post written by Roslyn Small