Your Best Friend Needs a Gift, too!

I love this time of year.  It’s not because I love shoveling snow or because I like being so cold my toes fall off (just kidding).  It’s definitely not because golfing is over (though that does play into my wife’s joy), and it’s not even because I am so excited about the College Football Playoff (which I am!). I love the Holiday season because it represents all that is good and right; gratitude, family, love, selfless giving

As a veterinarian, some of my thoughts always turn to the shortest (usually), loudest (sometimes), and furriest (hopefully) members of the family – the family dog and cat.  Have you ever thought about what you give these family members at this time of giving?  As pet owners we give squeaker toys, little play mice, and giant rawhides.  We wrap presents, hang stocking, and even dress them up like elves!  These things are all wonderful, but it is important that we do not forget about what our best friends really need and deserve – health and wellness and a life free of pain.  This Holiday season it is possible the best thing you can do for your furry family members is give the Gift of Health.

As a veterinarian I answer lots of questions regarding the health of the family pet this time of year.  Is Christmas candy dangerous for the dog or cat?   (Too much is.)  Is it bad if the cat eats tinsel?  (Yes.)  If the dog or cat snack on wrapping paper will it hurt them?  (Not likely.)  Believe it or not, these are not the biggest risks to health I see this time of year.  So what real threats do I see this time a year?  The same threats I see year round – vaccines not up to date, pets without microchips and not protected from parasites, painful dental disease in many, many dog and cat mouths, and undiagnosed diseases because we haven’t done recent blood work. 

I see these very real threats to health every single day.

The things that truly protect the lives of our pets seem so obvious, but, unfortunately, are often left undone.  Nothing protects the life and wellbeing of our best friends like the basics – vaccines, microchips, parasite control, yearly dentistry as recommended, and yearly blood work.  We believe that if we consistently make the right choices for health throughout the life of our pets we will enjoy them for More Quality Years.  As the Holidays approach and we make our gift list let’s remember to put the Gift of Health for the furriest members of our family near the top.

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