Paws for Thought: Top Festive Tips for Pet Owners

xmas pets

Folly Vets In Pontypool

At this busy time of year, it can be easy to forget just how much the hectic festive season can impact on our pets.

While we humans are rushing around buying last minute gifts, baking batches of mince pies and throwing parties, our furry companions are finding their usual routine disrupted and an influx of new people visiting their homes.

To help reduce the seasonal stress on our pets and to learn some tips on how we can all ensure our four legged friends enjoy the holidays too, we sat down with Dinika Procter, one of the most respected vets in south Wales at Folly Veterinary Centre in Pontypool.

Dinika set up Folly Vets on Commercial Street in the town in January 2015 as she lives locally and felt there was a need for a veterinary practice that was situated in the town centre.

Over the past twelve months, the practice has gained thousands of happy customers (both human and non-human) and the team take pride at being part of the local community. The practice has quickly established itself as a friendly, reassuring and caring place and Dinika and her staff delight in providing a warm and welcoming environment for all their visitors: they have even created separate waiting areas for dogs and cats!

“I wanted to be a vet from as early as I can remember,” Dinika explains, as she carefully examines one of her feline patients. “I loved caring for my animals and later developed a keen interest in science particularly biology. I started volunteering at a cattery at thirteen years of age: I used clean the kennels, feed and give them medications.

My parents were very supportive and would always ferry me wherever I needed to go irrespective how early in the morning! I later worked at a veterinary surgery as an auxiliary nurse and this improved my handling skills. My years of gaining experience solidified my aspirations of becoming a veterinary surgeon.”
Folly Vets
Dinika’s experience, hard work and obvious love for animals has paid off and Folly Vets is now a flourishing business in the town. Every day, dozens of pet owners from across the area bring their animals for check-ups, medication and even just for socialising. “I really enjoy my job, particularly building a rapport with our clients and seeing happy and satisfied clients with healthy pets – that’s the most rewarding part of my job,” she says, smiling. “I also really enjoy trying to find out what is wrong with my patients by doing a series of tests to get to the cause of the problem.”

Thanks to Dinika and her team, the pets of south Wales are in very safe hands this festive season – and throughout the year.

Festive Tips for Pet Owners from Folly Veterinary Centre

*Prior to your festive celebrations, ensure your pet has a quiet area where they can rest and can escape from your guests

*Never leave children unsupervised with pets as the pet could become irritated and snap or scratch. Also try to avoid leaving your pet home alone for long periods

*If you are having a Christmas tree, try to avoid edible gifts under the tree and as decorations

*Tinsel could also cause a problem if eaten and don’t put the tree in your pet’s main living area. Puppies may be frightened of the tree

*Don’t add chemicals to the tree’s water to avoid accidental ingestion and ensure there is always fresh water available for your pet

*Avoid bringing toxic plants into your home such as mistletoe, amaryllis and lilies. Ivy is poisonous to rabbits. Please ensure they are out of reach

*Festive treats like grapes, sultanas and raisins can cause kidney damage and even death in dogs and cats, so don’t allow your pet access to mince pies and Christmas pudding

*Bones from the Christmas lunch could splinter and damage the gut or be inhaled

*Keep Antifreeze in the garage as cats like the sweet taste and this can lead to kidney failure

*Wrapping paper and packaging – clear up as soon as possible to avoid ingestion

*If your pet hates fireworks, Christmas and New Year’s Eve can be very stressful. Prepare before the fireworks start by buying pheromone diffusers or collars or playing a special CD for noise phobia

*Ensure dogs are taken out to toilet early in the evening and cats are provided with a litter tray before any fireworks begin. Pets adjust to routine and this will increase confidence if they know what to expect and when to expect it

*On the evenings you expect fireworks, ensure your pet is safe indoors; secure doors, windows and cat flaps

*Make sure your pet is micro-chipped.  If they do escape, frightened and confused animals can easily become lost. Micro-chipped pets are usually re-united swiftly

*Speak to Dinika at Folly Veterinary Centre – she can discuss synthetic pheromone uses, stress reducing medications, homeopathic remedies and has many other recommendations to calm your pet during the fireworks season.

You can find more information about the Folly Veterinary Centre and their open day to celebrate their first anniversary on January 29th on their website:

Folly Veterinary Centre – 23 Commercial St, Pontypool NP4 6XTTelephone: 01495 616656