Contributed by Elko Veterinary Clinic

Thanksgiving has come to a close, and the season of the holidays is in full swing! Our households are starting to hum with the busy-ness of preparing for travel, holiday dinners and gift wrapping; and likely our pets will not quite be the centers of attention as much as they would like. We’d like to give you some helpful tips to make sure that your holiday season is full of fun for both you and your furry family members!

If you’re looking to travel out of town, whether by car or plane, hopefully you have already made arrangements to have your pet updated on vaccines, flight acclimation certificate, and health certificates necessary for your arrangements and destination. Keep in mind the climate that you are traveling to and the location of your destination and proximity to vet clinics/pharmacies in case of emergencies or should you need immediate prescription refills. Be sure to pack plenty of your pet’s own food (or ship it ahead), so that the stress of traveling and a change in diet does not cause gastrointestinal upset. Contact your veterinarian to get any medications refilled before you leave, and a quick exam and conversation with your vet about any anxiety medications your pet may need before you leave. 

If you get to stay home and celebrate with close family or relatives, there are some minor adjustments you can make to your home to keep your pets happy as family crowds every corner of your abode. When the company first arrives, keep your pets in a quiet bedroom or laundry porch, and wait to introduce them to all your guests individually or in small groups. Make sure to keep up with consistent feeding times, walks and play times, to keep your pet’s routine as normal as you can. When it’s time for family brunches or dinners, ask your family to kindly ignore the begging faces under the table. When all the leftovers get daunting sitting in your fridge, resist the urge to offload some to your puppers and kitties. We see an overwhelming number of GI cases in the days and weeks following holidays, ranging from mild diarrhea and vomiting, to severe cases of pancreatitis or foreign body removals; all of which could have prevented!

Your pet knows you love them with all you already do for them, so keep them safe, happy, and most importantly, healthy, during this Christmas season!