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Preparing Your Pets For The Festive Season

The Veterinary Council of New Zealand (VCNZ) is reminding pet owners that a little bit of preparation now will help keep their animals fit and healthy over the summer holidays.

VCNZ Professional Advisor Seton Butler says whether people are going away or having a staycation, it is important they plan ahead to ensure their pets are vaccinated, have any medication they need, and have received any essential routine care before the Christmas break.

“Given that we still have a significant shortage of veterinarians, there are likely to be long wait times for emergency care in late December/early January,” he says.

“People should also be prepared to travel a bit further for urgent care. Clinics often work together over the holidays to ensure urgent patients can still receive intensive care and support if needed.”

“Because of the veterinary shortage, it is very likely there will be delays, so we are urging members of the public to please be patient and kind to vet teams over this time.”

If you are taking your pet on holiday with you, VCNZ suggests giving the closest vet to your destination a call to check if they would be able to see your animal if needed, and if not what alternatives are available.

“It’s better to have a plan in case something goes wrong than to try and figure it out in an emergency,” Seton says.

If your pet is going to stay in a boarding facility, it is essential they are fully vaccinated; the booking for their stay has been confirmed; there is a plan in place if they need to be seen by a vet; and the boarding facility can contact you if your pet is unwell.

As well as doing everything you can to ensure your pet is in tip top shape for the festive season, remember to keep an eye out for usual summer holiday hazards such as dehydration, eating food like chocolate and grapes that can make animals sick, and unfamiliar environments where they may behave unpredictably.

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