Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat, but just spare a thought for the poor old dog and cat!
Christmas is a time for all the family to celebrate and with a little planning ensures it is a problem free festive treat for pets too. So these helpful hints and tips will ensure your pet’s Christmas is one to be remembered for the right reasons. The first change your pet will notice is the surprisingly sudden appearance of a tree in the living room. Cats of-course enjoy climbing and the sparkling tinsel can sometimes be irresistible, so make sure your tree is anchored securely. Also, be warned that placing even the most tightly wrapped box of chocolates under the tree, could just be a little too tempting for most dogs.
By now you will be thinking about what you’re going to be needing, turkey, sprouts, Christmas pudding, crackers and presents for everyone, and with all this rushing around your routine and that of your pets can be forgotten. Sudden changes to your pets daily routine can lead to complications and could cause anxiety to the most sensitive of pets, which manifests in a variety of ways. Therefore ensure your pet’s routine is as stable as possible.
Diet is always a tempting change over Christmas with the odd scrap from the table. But be warned, over indulgence in rich food can result in gastric overload. Edible Christmas presents from granny and granddad can also have similar consequences if not carefully monitored, and you can guarantee that it will be mum or dad to do the cleaning up in the morning.
Once the dinner has been demolished and the Christmas pudding polished off, it is time to clear the tables. But be warned, it is now that the scavenging instinct of your dog or cat goes into over-drive. The left over carcass crammed amongst the chipolatas in a polythene dustbin bag, is no match for the claws of the ever hungry predator, with the temptation all too much. But the consequences of eating turkey bones can be very dangerous, so be sure to dispose of the rubbish safely, avoiding the unwanted trip to the vets this Christmas.
Presents are integral to Christmas and we all like to treat our pets, and this year how about something a little different to treats and tit-bits. Maybe a new collar, a comfortable bed, an eye-catching lead or dog coat for those cold winter night walks, or how about a special groom bath and clip ready to impress the family visitors.
With each celebration the snap of party crackers and bang of party poppers can sometimes be a little too much. So by giving your pet a quiet place to rest during the day avoids them being frightened by the chaos and commotion of the big day. Above all else Christmas is about having fun and with a little planning and care this Christmas will be as enjoyable for your pets as it will be for you.
I have a small Westie who’s getting older and walks are becoming more difficult so the weight keeps piling on. He’s got a few years left, so want to keep him as fit as possible.
Mr. Saxon – Upper Gornal
Old age comes to us all I’m afraid and the changes that it brings about can sometimes be restrictive. Maintaining a level of fitness is sometimes difficult for elderly dogs but can be eased with short but regular walks on softer ground. Canine hydrotherapy is also good in maintaining muscle tone, where the water provides buoyancy allowing supported exercise.
It is important to maintain a healthy weight for your pet as it increases in age. Weight problems are a major contributing factor to other health related problems in pets. Cardiovascular disease, joint strain and skeletal problems can all be attributed to being over weight. Special geriatric diets are available which maintains a pet’s condition, coat and general health by providing and compensating with all the necessary vitamins and minerals required in the older animal. Two small meals are generally better for your older dog rather than one large meal.
Walks should be kept short, yet fulfilling enough for your dog. Create interest for them by visiting different places, particularly areas with lots of scents that will keep their interest and stimulated. Older pets tend to sleep more and a firm, supportive bed will help when their joints begin to feel the strains of aging. In a bustling household, be sure to let your older dogs get plenty of rest with a quiet, draft free area of the house chosen to site their beds.
If there are other younger animals in the house, allowing them time apart from one another to get sufficient rest is important to prevent irritability. Regular three monthly vet check ups should be made, to ensure they are kept healthy. As with any elderly species there is an increased incidence of ailments, therefore by being diligent with health check ups prevents any unnecessary problems developing.