Hoogland Newsletter December 2015
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Festive Season Consulting Hours:
16 Dec: 9am-11am
24 Dec: 8am-5pm
25 Dec: CLOSED
26 Dec: 9am-12:00pm
31 Dec: 8am-5pm
Other than these days, we will work on our usual times.

Edible Christmas snowflake!
(Parrots, rabbits, chinchilla, guinea pig)

You will need:
Thin white paper (e.g. white paper bakers bags)
Pellets, dried veggies or fruit.
Thin sisal twine/thin strip of fleece

Tear the paper into strips about 3.5cm wide and 15cm long – 3 strips per star.
Place a treat on the paper at one end of a strip and twist the paper either side of it.
Keep twisting the paper but add another treat in at the other end too.
Once you have made 3 of these secure them in position with the sisal/fleece (make sure there is at least one wrap between each “branch”).
Hang up your creation where your birdy or fluffy can play!

Hi-ho, Hi-ho, it’s off to the beach we go!

I’m sure your bags are packed and the itinerary planned down to the millisecond, but have you made adequate arrangements for your pets?

Who is looking after your critters while you relax? It is highly unlikely that you will find space in boarding establishments at this stage. If your pets are being looked after at home by pet sitters, family members or friends be sure to leave your vets’ hours and contact details (it is always a good idea to let your vet know someone else may bring your pets in), and a schedule for any medications on the fridge. A chart of things that must be done with blocks that the sitters can tick often works very well for everyone.

If your furry friends are going to kennels or catteries, remember that their vaccinations must be updated. Over and above the routine annual vaccines, the dogs should get Kennel cough vaccines and the cats need Snuffles vaccines. For optimal immunity, vaccinations should be done at least 2 weeks in advance.

Remember that the number of run-away pets sky rockets at this time of year! Ensure your property is secure to prevent dogs from escaping and subsequently getting lost, into fights or being run over. Additionally, permanent identification like microchip implants give peace of mind as collars with nametags often get lost before the pet is picked up.

Talking about pets escaping… Do not forget to prepare in advance for the fireworks! Someone that the pets know should spend the festive evenings at home with them, or they should be safely confined and given anxiolytic medications to make it more bearable for them. The most effective medications are by prescription only, which means that by law vets will need to see the patients for health checks before these meds can be dispensed. As we must comply with the Medicines Control Council’s requirements and inspections need to be passed, there will be no compromise here. The over-the-counter medications, like Calmeze and Anxitane for example, work to varying degrees in each individual and no guarantees can be given making the prescription drugs more reliable. As this is always an issue at this time of year, we ask that you remember to plan for this in advance so that health checks can be done timeously without the need for pressure on you, us or the pets.  

Last but not least, we all tend to over-indulge somewhat over the festive season and many of us are inclined to allow our pets extra spoils too. Remember chocolate, nuts, raisins, bones and all that fat from the gammon and leg of lamb can make your pet SERIOUSLY ILL! Cheating can have dire consequences.

And for all of you who are lucky enough to be travelling, please arrive alive and have a very special Christmas and New Year!

Catnip Fishy for Kitty!
You will need:
Small socks
Dry catnip
Small bell wrapped in some glad wrap
Crinkly plastic wrap (optional)

Half fill a sock with dry catnip, the bell and the plastic wrap.
Knot the sock on itself just above the filling.
You can even draw on eyes on or add eyes made of felt.

Hang them, give as a floor toy or attach to a rope and stick to use as a chaser!

Super Braided Fleece Rope toy!
A super cheap, easy to make and versatile toy!
Cut fleece into strips - thickness and length can be adjusted to dog size.
e.g. 1.5cm wide and 15cm long for small dogs.
Knot the end of 3 strips together and plait the strips all the way.
Knot the other end and Voila!
Make simple chews, knot the rope into a ball, or make longer rope for tug of war games! Unlike cotton ropes, these will be much less likely to cause dental and gut problems. They are wonderful for teething puppies and even heavy chewers!

Extra tip: Bake slices of sweet potato with holes in the centre till dry and pass one or more of the strips through the holes in the slices as you braid for extra chewable entertainment!

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