We are well and truly into the holiday season – shopping and parties are the entire crazes. Our pet pooches and fur-balls also deserve to be part of the holiday spirit of gift-receiving as much as we do. Generally, gift-giving for pets should follow the same principles as gift-giving for people. There are no set rules and what makes us and our pets happy can be unique and personal.
Here is my top 5 from the list of gift options for pets, whether or not they have allergies, during the festive season:
- Treats and cookies (or hypoallergenic treats) – Who doesn’t love good food? But remember, pets will allergies or sensitive stomachs may react to just any treats. I usually see most of my allergic patients come in with flare-ups after each holiday season. Select those treats wisely if you have an allergic pet. Do not share your dinner and remember to avoid chocolates, raisins, and toxic foods.
- Annual blood profile and a thorough physical exam – while your 4-legged friend might not appreciate the trip to the vet, ensuring good health is always a good idea. And yes, cats also need annual veterinarian check-ups to ensure good health, just as dogs do!
- Pet health insurance – I often hear that our pets get better care than humans, but good veterinary care can be expensive. So, it is good to be prepared. Not every health insurance plan is right for every pet. Talk to your veterinarian or call a few different vet insurance companies to find what might get you the best plan.
- Jackets/Booties to keep outdoor pets warm – this may not be the gift for every pet, but the ones that go out often and can carry clothes comfortably will appreciate some winter protection.
- A dental cleaning – most vet clinics offer dental specials around February every year – sign up for pet dental cleaning for pets that may need one, especially senior pets. Also, make daily tooth brushing time a resolution for the coming year.
Our pets are such an integral part of our lives and help bring us happiness and contentment throughout the year, not just during the holiday season. By keeping them healthy, you will definitely make sure you have a happy friend in the long haul.
By: Dr. Jangi Bajwa, VetDERM Clinic
Dr. Jangi Bajwa is a Board certified veterinary dermatologist at VetDERM Clinic in Surrey BC. He is also the dermatology feature editor for Canadian Veterinary Journal. Dr. Bajwa’s special interests include otitis and allergic disease in pets; as well as helping improve quality of life of pets and their families.