Bobtown Kronicle December 2014
In this issue you will find:
10 Ways to give the gift of health this holiday season
Big and Small
From Our Families to Yours
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
Kathy, Tom, Milo and Willie (D)
David, Cheryl, Ceola, Anna, Brita and Lily (E)
Theresa, Seth, Dayne, Ayden and Charlotte (A)
Nicole, Andy, Cody (G), Charlie and Monty (B)
Marcy, Bruce, Winnie, Joker and Veda (C)
Tortuga and Cheripaxa (F)
Ten Ways to Give the Gift of Health this Holiday Season and Beyond
1. If your pet accompanies you on your trip, make sure to take a copy of important medical records, any medications and enough food for the trip. Make sure your pet has identification. A microchip is a great way to ID your pet in case he/she runs off. This greatly improves the odds of their recovery.
2. Avoid pets eating human foods. Many foods that we humans have only at the holidays are extremely rich, enticing and/or even toxic to pets. Chocolate, macadamia nuts, grapes, onions and the sweetener xylitol (and many others) are all toxic to pets. Many other foods will cause vomiting, diarrhea, pancreatitis or food bloat in many pets. A trip to the emergency clinic for these avoidable problems ruins a Christmas Day with the family. This visit can easily cost $1000-$1500. If your lab swallows the cake knife along with the cake, the risks and emergency bill will be much greater.
3. Talk with guests/hosts about pet care. Whether it is feeding habits or watching the door so pets do not escape, communicate with your guests/hosts about your pet's habits, dos and don'ts. You do not want Fido or Fluffy to run into the street and get killed by a car. In case your pet does escape, make sure they have identification.
4. Many pets see the strange power cord that smells funny as a good chew cord. Cats and dogs that chew on these cords often get severe oral burns or are electrocuted to death. Furthermore, damage to a cord can start a fire. (Think National Lampoons Christmas Vacation.)
5. Be careful with small toys. Dogs and cats often like to chew. The influx of new small items from a Barbie shoe to a super ball to socks and underwear are often targets for chewing and swallowing. Pay special attention that new toys for children are kept picked up.
6. Be very mindful of plants around the house. We often have seasonal plants and new plants received as gifts around the house during the holidays. Some of these plants are toxic to dogs and cats. And do not forget the Christmas tree. Ornaments, tinsel, and garland can be very enticing but dangerous.
7. Feed them properly. Proper nutrition helps the body function better. Avoiding obesity can cut food costs as well as make your pet less likely to have many problems or if those problems occur, on average it will be later in life. A normal body condition will add almost 2 years of life to the average dog.
8. Exercise. Figure out what kind of activities your pets like. Dogs often like walks, fetch, frisbee, swimming and jogging (just to name a few). Cats may have favorite toys, like to chase a laser or flashlight, chase a feather on a string or hunting around the house for the food you have hidden. Some of these activities will also be good for the 2 legged family members.
9. Continue your pet's wellness care. Protecting your pet with vaccines and having them examined regularly so potential problems can be identified and treated early will save money. It is less costly to prevent than treat a disease or to treat a disease early than to wait until it is an emergency.
10. Make a New Year's Resolution - start budgeting for pet care. How much do you typically spend on your pet(s) in a year? Including food, toys, grooming and veterinary care, the average dog is about $1500 and cat about $1200 in an average year. Larger dogs typically cost more than smaller dogs. Set money aside every pay check or month so you have this money available for care. You may not use the whole amount every year. That's OK. Leave the money alone so it is available for an emergency or for the increased care most senior pets require.
Remember, keeping your pet healthy is a year round job, not just something to think about during the holidays.