13 Fogg Farm Road
White River Junction VT 05001
Located 1 Mile South of King Arthur Flour on Route 5
Happy Holidays from Norwich Regional Animal Hospital. This is a fun time of year with festive gatherings, snowy treks, warm fires and holiday spirit. Pets are active members of our families, they are with us as we travel and celebrate. We would like to provide some simple tips to enhance your pets' enjoyment of these special months.
Holidays inevitably bring schedule changes, travel and visitors. Our pets thrive on routine. Try to maintain a routine for your pets that is as normal as possible. If they generally benefit from a morning walk, stick to it! Meal times and food should also remain the same. In addition to your personal effort, it's a great idea to remind house guests to please not share food with your pets. We see many cases of digestive upset during these months; treatments may range from simple outpatient instruction to in-patient hospitalization.
Cooking. We often see health problems relating to either a small amount of toxic food or to overindulgence of otherwise healthy foods. Items of particular concern are chocolate (darker chocolates are often more toxic), high fat foods, xylitol (in some chewing gum and candies), alcohol, grapes/raisins, onions, rising bread dough, and macadamia nuts. Remember that many of our pets are talented food thieves, whether from the counter, the pantry, or the trash bin. Be vigilant that their access is limited.
Travel. The first step is to decide whether you will travel with your pet, hire a trusted pet/house sitter, or employ a boarding facility. If you are planning to travel with your pet, "know before you go" by consulting your veterinarian and informative veterinary websites. We are big fans of an article written by the American Veterinary Medical Association (www.avma.org) on pet travel. They cover an extensive amount of material relating to almost all aspects and types of travel. Feel free to contact us with specific questions, we are glad to help. If you are looking for a private or commercial caretaker for your pet, we recommend asking your veterinarian, a trusted pet store employee, your breeder, or your groomer for referrals.
Decorations. So many fun toys: Christmas tree ornaments, electrical cords/lights, popcorn strings, tinsel, liquid potpourri and more. All of these things may be very attractive to your pet and may cause injury. We recommend close monitoring of your pet with these festive household additions. During parties, you might keep your pet safe in a comfortable room or pet crate.
Plants and Common Chemical Toxicity. The major plant culprits during holidays are lilies, poinsettia plants and mistletoe. Other plant toxicities exist and extensive lists may be found on a wide variety of websites, including our own (www.norwichanimal.com). Many cars and delivery trucks in the driveway can lead to antifreeze poisoning. Just a tiny amount can be deadly. Also be mindful of avoiding exposure to mouse and rat baits and human pharmaceuticals. If there is any concern of ingestion, please call your veterinarian as some require immediate attention.
Your pet may experience the excitement and stress of the holidays just as you do. If possible, pets appreciate a comfortable space in your home to escape visitors and commotion. If the excitement gets to the point of being a health concern, your veterinarian may also recommend pheromone therapy or anti-anxiety medications. Simply increasing exercise (remember a vest for short-haired breeds) can vent the excitement and maximize you and your pet's enjoyment of this fun packed holiday season. Happy Holidays!
Please also see Find a Vet While Traveling