December Feature: Handling the Holidays
Let’s face it. It’s been a tough year. We’re all looking forward to the holidays but things are going to be different. Making sure our pets stay safe is a priority. Here are some helpful tips to get the whole family through the holiday season.
First, acknowledge that this can be a stressful time, for you and your dog. If you’re stressed out about the holidays, your pet picks up on that. Try to relax, breathe, and enjoy the things that are meaningful to you about this time of year!
Have a plan in place before your festivities begin. Write it down, say it aloud, discuss it with other household members so everyone is on the same page. Don’t be fumbling at the last minute, wondering what to do with your pets.
Exercise reduces stress. Make sure you give your pets some exercise time prior to guests arriving. A nice long walk or run can help reduce some pre-holiday stress for both you and your dog. Other options are playing games of fetch, tug, or hide and seek with your dog. Doing a little obedience or trick training can help tire your dog out mentally. Remember that a combination of physical and mental exercise can give you ‘more bang for your buck.’ Grooming or sitting quietly with your cat can help reduce stress.
Safety first – if you have a pet who does not like strangers or is uncomfortable with new people, holiday party time is not the time to work on socialization. Put your pet away in their crate or another room where it is quiet and he can relax without the pressure to interact with new people. This is not punishment – it’s keeping your pets and your guests safe. Anxious and fearful pets do not typically want to be part of loud, large groups of people – they will appreciate you giving them a quiet space of their own. Pets should always be supervised when socializing with strangers or guests.
Be cautious of holiday plants and treats – Some plants that are commonly given as gifts or used as decoration at holiday time, such as poinsettia, are toxic to your pets. Chocolate, also a common treat at this time of year, is also toxic to your pet. Don’t forget about alcohol. It is toxic to pets. Keep these items out of reach. Avoid table food. Even though pieces of leftover meat such as plain turkey, chicken, or ham are fine to give your pet in moderate amounts they can still cause gastrointestinal distress. Certain spices may also be toxic.
Update Identification/collars/tags/microchips. Make sure your pets’ identification tags are current with phone numbers/addresses. Often, people move and they forget to change this information on their pets’ tags. Pets often get loose this time of year. Guests forget to close doors. Be sure your pets’ identification can be traced back to you. Many veterinary offices have modified hours for the holidays.
Never let pets outside during fireworks. Pets can suffer burns, hearing loss and eye damage if they are too close to any explosion. Even having your dog on a leash may not prevent him from escaping during fireworks displays.Distract your nervous pet. If pets exhibit uncharacteristic behavior, such as incessant pacing, crying or whining, owners should help distract them through play or another enjoyable pet activity.Clean up firework debris before letting pets outside. If pets eat the debris, it may cause digestive problems or serious injuries. Owners should contact their veterinarian immediately if their pets have been exposed to any potentially toxic or poisonous substances.
Lastly, try to relax and have a good time with your family, friends, and pets.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us to discuss the best treatment for your pet during the holiday season.
Monday-Friday 8:30am to 5:30pm
Saturday- 8:00am to 3:00pm
We will be CLOSED on Saturday, December 12th
Thursday, December 24th 8:30am to Noon
CLOSED Friday, December 25th
CLOSED Saturday, December 26th
Thursday, December 31st 8:30am to 3pm
CLOSED, Friday, January 1st
Please plan to order medication and food early
Please note- for the safety of our staff, clients and patients,due to COVID-19 we are still operating curbside until further notice. Updates will be posted via facebook and email.
*Please be aware, we are still practicing “curbside/valet” service until further notice as we help reduce the spread of COVID-19
-No walk-in at this time
-Order medication, prescription food and over the counter medications ahead of time by calling the clinic. To expedite this process, please give a 48 hour notice on refills.
-Please call when you arrive at the clinic. Remain in your car. A staff member will come outside to assist you. Call ahead orders will be brought to you. Your pets will be taken into the clinic for an exam. Staff will call to go over a treatment plan for your approval.
-Payments can be taken over the phone
-Please call with any further questions
In clinic special. No rebates!
Save 10% off prescription foods
*Must be a patient of Ark Animal Hospital with current prescription
Great news. The three littermates that were up for adoption had found their fur-ever homes.
Unfortunately, since their adoptions we have received 2 injured feral kittens that are now under medical care.
We continuously accept donations to the Angels Fund to help with the medical needs of these and future angels.
Coming in 2021
Thank you to all of our clients for all of your support this year. We’ve all had to pull together and support each other through a pandemic and 2021 is just around the corner.
We will be updating our website, Facebook and other social media with the most current information.
We also ask that clients update their information so that we have the most current contact information. The form can be found here
Wishing you and your family well wishes through all the holidays