Making sure pets get a merry Christmas

Holidays are approaching; a very exciting time to get away, catch up with family and eat yourself silly.  But don’t forget your animals, says Anexa vet Hanneke Officer.

hanneke-300x242There are several creatures at home that are completely dependent on you for their care. I’m talking about pets – whether they’re inside or out grazing. Finding someone to look after them can be difficult and you want to make sure there are not too many disruptions from routine.

Here are some pointers to consider and discuss with the caregiver.

For small pets:

  • Visit the facility that will house them so you know you’re happy with what’s on offer – food, water, toys, sleeping arrangements, space etc.
  • Get to know the owner/carer
  • Check vaccinations are up to date
  • You can bring something familiar that smells of home
  • Ensure there’s plenty of your pet’s food if they’re on a specific diet
  • Supply them with a health record if necessary
  • Discuss vet details just in case
  • If someone looks after them in your home, discuss daily requirements (food, water, litter change, pats)
  • Leave emergency contact details
Marley the N8N office cat is certain she won’t be overlooked this Yuletide.

For grazers:

  • Write down your daily routine if you have one
  • Discuss supplementation if necessary
  • Make sure water requirements are met
  • Leave a note with emergency contact details – vet, home kill, your contact information
  • Remember cleaning instructions (chicken coop, rabbit hutch etc.)
  • If you wish, you can leave some information on health hazards and/or when to seek advice, for example:
    • Bleeding
    • Down animal
    • Trauma: fractures, wounds, animals that are stuck
    • Lameness
    • Breathing difficulties
    • Bloat
    • Birthing trouble (it’s advisable to stay home if you have heavily pregnant stock)


Check in with your local Anexa FVC Vet if you would like some more advice or information to leave at home.  And have a great Christmas!

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Number 8 Network - a community website for the rural areas northeast of Hamilton, NZ, is run by Gordonton journalist/editor Annette Taylor.

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