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Holidays and Pets

Dec 05, 2017 01:19PM ● By Louisa Asseo

Keeping Pets Safe and Serene

By Dr. Louisa Asseo, Oasis Veterinary Hospital

It seems like yesterday that we were looking ahead with joy and anticipation for the holiday season and yet here it is, upon us again! This time of year brings a familiar buzz to many of us, with holiday parties, shopping, decorating, houseguests, and travelling. We look forward to celebrating and reconnecting with dear friends and family whether near or far. But how do our furry companions see the upcoming season?

Holiday parties and houseguests can change the dynamic in your household. This can create stress or anxiety for some pets, including cats, dogs, rabbits, birds, and other small mammals. If your pet does not enjoy “strangers” in his environment, give him a safe place to escape. Make a bedroom or closet “off limits” for guests and furnish this area with water bowls, warm beds, food, safe toys, and litter boxes or “potty pads.” In addition, leaving soft music on can dim the sounds of laughter and debauchery that can increase stress in your pet.  Pheromone diffusers can offer a calming scent unique to cats and dogs.  These diffusers can be found at your veterinary office or pet stores. 

As we partake in all the rich treats and goodies this time of year has to offer, please remember to keep them out of access to our curious companions. Rich foods or even just a change in a normal diet can cause our pets to suffer from vomiting and diarrhea. While this is undoubtedly unpleasant for both pet and pet parent, it can also lead to more serious illnesses such as dehydration, pancreatitis, bloat, and intestinal obstructions. Even after we discard our food and treats, garbage cans can become regular buffets for the clever pet.  Please keep garbage cans secured!

If you are leaving your pets at home or in a “pet hotel” while you are travelling, plan ahead. Discuss with your pet caretaker what to do in the event your pet becomes ill. Leave your veterinarian’s name and number in clear view.  Also, be sure to leave contact information for the emergency clinic. Prepare a written note designating your caretaker as someone capable of making critical decisions if you cannot be reached.  While this is not a legally binding agreement, it can help your veterinarian or emergency clinic in expediting treatment until you can be reached. 

Whatever your upcoming plans are, we wish you a happy and healthy holiday season. We’ll see you in 2018!

Dr. Louisa Asseo, owner of Oasis Veterinary Hospital, can be reached at (925) 954-8087, 6635 Alhambra Ave., Suite 100, Martinez, or visit