Helping Sydney pets enjoy the holidays

sydney pets - fox valley animal hospital

This happy Lab can’t wait for Santa!

December and January mean public holidays, school holidays and a lot of fun in the sun for most of the Fox Valley Animal Hospital community. And we love being able ­­­to imagine all our favourite animal patients and their humans off having a great time.

So we’ve put together a few little tips to make sure the most fun can be had these holidays by keeping Sydney pets out of mischief. 

Christmas and New Year

There are a couple of common food temptations that come along during the festive season more than others. Here are a couple of foodie reminders and tips to ensure your Sydney pets are kept happy and healthy.

  • Keep screening the leftovers. Changing a pet’s diet can cause tummy upsets, flatulence and diarrhoea. So please, even though it seems kind to give you pets special scraps, the kinder thing is to keep them to their regular diet. And NO BONES!
  • Lock up Santa’s fruit cake. It’s great to leave Santa a treat, but make sure your cat or dog cannot sneak a bite. Raisins, sultanas and some nuts can have fatal consequences for your family pet. Always make sure your treat is Santa, not Fido height.
  • No chocolates or nuts under the tree. While it may spoil the surprise, please don’t put chocolates or nuts under the tree. While these are yummy treats for us, your dog can be made seriously ill from eating chocolates and nuts.
  • No booze hounds. It takes more than a berocca, a quiet room and a greasy hamburger to make a drunk pet feel OK the next day. Don’t let your pets consume alcohol by leaving drinks in their reach, letting them clean up spills or feeding it to them.
  • Keep an eye on cracker night. Dogs especially hate loud noises, but all animals find firecrackers startling and overwhelming. Make sure you know where your pet is on New Year’s eve and check the yard and your leashes to make sure they are escape proof.
  • Buy toys that won’t cause harm to your pets. Unfortunately, there are a lot of cheap and nasty pet toys flooding the market this year. Avoid buying your pets toys from discount stores and always look for vet approved toys at animal hospitals or licensed pet stores. Cheaply made toys often get chewed up and stuck in the teeth, throat, gut and digestive tract. Remember, pets don’t care about material things. Some extra hugs, a trip to the park, a swim or some time spent lolling in front of the TV with you is probably a better gift than any toy.

Sydney pets know summer is hot!

Sydney pets are particularly prone to heat related illnesses. We have high temperatures and high humidity, which can be really taxing on creatures of fur and feather especially!

We’ve talked about heat stroke in dogs before, but we’d like to remind you to keep your pets cool and out of the sun. A couple of frozen ice cubes, a quick rinse under the hose or a frozen stock ice-block can do wonders for keeping your pet out of the danger zone.

Keep an eye on all pets during particularly hot days and play it safe!

If you are going away

We’ve covered the boarding kennels already, but if you are looking to take your family pet on holidays with you, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Always make arrangements for your pet

Never leave your pets unattended when you go away for holidays. Pets need supervision. They cannot raise the alarm if they get stuck, if they have an accident or they cut themselves off from food and water. And they will become bored and possibly destructive, and could make excessive noise through barking and howling. Or they could become agitated and escape.

Remember, you are your pet’s world, so don’t leave them out this holiday season. Choose a pet friendly holiday OR find a suitable boarding kennel or pet minder. That way, everyone can enjoy their holiday!

There are plenty of places where Sydney pets can go for safe boarding and billeting. If you are unsure, ask! As a Sydney vet clinic, we know all kinds of reliable places you can choose from.

Prevention is better than cure

Your flea and tick prevention should always be up-to-date however when travelling to new climates, especially coastal ones, please take the time to double check the prevention is up-to-date and head in to see us if you have http://nygoodhealth.com doubts.

We stock a range of good flea and tick prevention at the animal hospital and we recommend Advantix Spot On for dogs and Frontline spray for cats. And we’re only a short drive from Normanhurst, Warrawee, Thornleigh and of course Wahroonga.

A five minute trip in the car to protect against tick paralysis is a far more economical and wise trip than one to us for treatment if it happens.

Dogs and beaches

Sydney pets are spoilt for choice both locally and within driving distance when it comes to beaches and lakes. But there are a few things to keep in mind.

Out of respect for the locals (and to avoid any unfortunate problems like rips, pollution or sharks that you may not be aware of) always swim at approved dog beaches. You’ll usually find most local council websites will have a list of off-leash beaches and any restrictions on swimming times posted on the website. And keep an eye out for signs when you are at a new beach, too.

Always clean up after your dog. Dog poo isn’t just unpleasant when you step in it or the kids dig it up when making a sand castle, it isn’t the best for the coastal environment either. So always be ready with your poo bags!

Avoid puffer fish, blue bottles and eating weird objects. Not you, your dog. Dogs are naturally curious and perpetually hungry, however eating the wrong thing at a beach can make your dog extremely sick. Puffer fish poisoning can kill your dog. Blue bottles can issue an incredibly powerful sting that can make your dog sick or at the very least, terrified of ever going to the beach again. And strange sea cucumbers, seaweed or drinking sea water can cause vomiting and diarrhoea.

So if you have a dog who eats everything and doesn’t listen to commands about moving away or dropping items, on-leash is your safest beach experience.

Your Sydney pets home away from home

The rise in pet friendly accommodation is great to see. There are many wonderful places on Stayz and Air BnB that allow pets. But you will need to check to make sure your holiday stay is secure and pet friendly once you arrive.

Before letting your pet out of the car, check the fence line for gaps and holes. Keep an eye out for plants and weeds that may cause an adverse reaction in your pet. If your pet has hay-fever or skin allergies, make sure you pop in to see the team from Fox Valley Animal Hospital and travel with some suitable medication just in case.

Car travel

Always remember to use an approved safety harness while travelling with your dog and a secure comfortable carrier for cats. If your pet suffers from travel sickness there are now medications that can help with this, making the experience for all a little nicer. Please speak to our vet nurses for advice. We’re always happy to help!


Observe our Christmas Hours

We’re here for Sydney pets most of the year. But we also need a holiday on occasion so we can continue to supply you with top quality care.

Fox Valley Animal Hospital will be taking a short break, so we suggest you come and see us before we do for any preparation for your holidays.

We’re shut on the following days:

Christmas Day 25th December

Boxing day 26th December

Saturday 27th December

Sunday 28th December

We open again on Monday 29th December and will be available that Monday, Tuesday 30th December and Wednesday 31st December (NYE) until 3pm. We’re closed New Year’s Day and will be back in action as per normal after that.

During this time, SASH will be operating as our referral hospital for any emergency situations. SASH are located at:

1/1 Richardson place, North Ryde and their telephone number is (02) 9889 0289. You can view the map to SASH here.

Merry Christmas from the team

Thanks for making 2014 a great year for us all. We’ve enjoyed helping you with your pets. We love the community spirit you share with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and GooglePlus. We adore receiving your cards and your comments online and in the mail.

Fox Valley Animal Hospital wouldn’t be the same without you, your family and of course, your wonderful pets.

We wish everyone a safe holiday season and we look forward to another awesome year in 2015 with our Wahroonga and surrounds community by our side.

As Heather would say (if she could talk) – have a Wag-tastic Christmas one and all!

About the Author
Owner and Vet Alex Brittan, Vet Katie Syms and the team of Fox Valley Animal Hospital pride themselves on quality service. Fox Valley Animal Hospital is the one you choose for your family pet when the care your animal receives really matters.