Creature Comfort Veterinary House Call Service's Holiday Wish by Dr. Mac

Veterinary House Call Services
12/16/2016

The holidays are for many, a time for family, food and parties, but this can also be a time of great upheaval, anxiety and drama for both ourselves and for our four legged family members. As your friendly, neighborhood house call veterinarian, my role is to help my clients and patients navigate this time of year with as few of issues as possible. 

So, let’s start with the decorations. As many of you cat owners can guess, the tree represents a personal challenge for any feline.  Like Mount Everest, it dares all participants to climb its branches at their peril. Most cats have done this at least once in their lifetime and often accomplish it in a great display of fanfare and shattered ornaments as it comes crashing down, cat and all.  To avoid such a spectacle, I would highly recommend a heavy weight fishing line that attaches the tree to a hook or anchor on the wall or ceiling. It goes without saying to use shatter proof ornaments and avoid the use of tinsel to avoid broken glass from a happy dog tail or a curious paw for the former and the ingestion of the latter.

Secondly, is the food. Lots of heavenly tasting and fattening food ranging from main course meat and potato dishes to candy, fudge and cookies. It’s hard enough for us to resist such morsels so don’t expect your dog to turn down such delicacies whether they are freely offered as a gift or stolen off the counter top like a thief. Beyond an upset stomach from such rich foods, we need to worry about the toxicity of chocolate, onions and grapes to name a few with our dogs and in some cases, our cats with a less than discerning palate.

Lastly, is the overwhelming nature of having new people in the home or the long periods of time that they are being left alone that can ramp any pets anxiety during this time of year. Be aware of what your pet’s limits are in regards to new people, whether they be young or old. Dogs and cats don’t understand why a child is running around willy-nilly with excitement involving the arrival of Old St. Nick. They need special attention at this time of year and if you are going to be gone for long periods of time, maybe a pet sitter is advisable or keeping the pets in a different part of the house during a family gathering if you know your older dog or shy kitty are leery of loud noises and new people. 

The Holidays can be a joyous time filled with family and friends and good tidings. They can also turn into Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation if we’re not careful. Let’s face it – it’s hysterical to watch on TV but not at all funny to have a starring role in your own personal pet Christmas disaster. So, my Christmas wish to all of you, whether a client or patient or a friend or relative – Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, minus the drama. 

Yours Truly - Dr. Mac 

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