Holiday Advisory: Vets Urge Caution for Pet Owners

Holiday Advisory: Vets Urge Caution for Pet Owners
25.12.2023

In the flurry of the holiday season, as the hum of travel plans and festive preparations heighten, an advisory from veterinarians has urged pet owners to exercise increased caution. The focus is primarily on pets accompanying their owners on holiday travels or being placed in boarding kennels.

The close quarters and high turnover of canine guests in kennels can turn them into hotspots for the transmission of diseases, particularly respiratory illnesses, which can spread from dog to dog through direct contact or contaminated surfaces.

Telemedicine and In-Person Care

Dr. Rena Carlson, President of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), has highlighted the importance of in-person care for pets amidst the rise of telemedicine. While the AVMA supports telemedicine as an aid, it emphasizes that it should not replace in-person check-ups. Establishing a relationship with a veterinarian in person allows for a more thorough examination and accurate diagnosis, thus reducing the risk of missed or delayed diagnoses that can lead to increased suffering for pets and additional costs for owners.

Choosing the Right Boarding Facility

As the holiday season is also peak time for boarding kennels, the article provides tips on finding the perfect facility for pets. Recommendations include getting advice from friends, family, and veterinarians, visiting potential facilities, checking the staff’s credentials and experience, and ensuring cleanliness and health protocols. The importance of trust is underlined, implying that owners should choose a facility that feels right for both them and their pets.

Preventing Seasonal Pet Health Risks

During festive celebrations, pet owners must be mindful of potential hazards that can harm their pets. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a list of eight items that pose a threat to pets during the holiday season, leading to a spike in emergency vet visits. These items include dog treats, potato chip bags, and cigarette butts among others. To protect pets from these dangers, the FDA provides guidelines, emphasizing the need for owners to be vigilant about what their pets consume.

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The holiday season has also seen a year-on-year rise of 12.6% in insurance claims for pet health issues and a 76% increase in VetChat consultations. VetChat, a telehealth service, is available for a range of animal care queries, providing immediate and inexpensive care. Being aware of potential dangers and symptoms can help pet owners avoid unexpected costs and trauma, and ensure a safe and joyous festive season for their pets.

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