By DR. DON PALERMO
The holiday season is here and this is the time that we can do something special for our pets. Here is a list of 10 "do's" to make the holiday season a special event for our four-legged friends.
1. Spend more time with your pets during the holidays. You usually have some extra time off at the end of the year, so resolve to spend a little more time with your pets. An extra rub on the head goes a long way in showing your pet how much you love him or her.
2. Get your pet caught up on vaccinations. Call your local veterinarian and make sure your pet is current on all required immunizations.
3. Resolve to exercise your pet more during the holiday season and the upcoming year. Exercise will help you as well as your pet. It will be a win-win situation for both of you.
4. Remember that some of us travel during the holidays with our pets. Keep your pet confined while riding in an automobile and always stop every one and a half hours for a water break and a stretch.
5. Take some new photos of your pet. It's always nice to have current photographs of our furry friend and we can use that photograph as a Christmas card to send to our friends.
6. Get some sort of pet identification, whether it be a tag or microchip, in case your pet becomes missing.
7. Pet-proof your home during the holidays. Keep plants that may be toxic and electrical cords out of reach of your pets.
8. Learn a new fact about your pet's breed and share it with the rest of the family.
9. Go online and find a few healthy treats that you can make in your kitchen for your pet and let all the family in on the fun.
10. Finally, make a contribution to your local shelter in honor of your pet.
For all the good times that all of our pets have given us, let's not take their love and companionship for granted. Happy Thanksgiving!
(Dr. Don Palermo is a veterinarian at Bienville Animal Medical Center in Ocean Springs, Miss. Questions for this column are encouraged. Write to South Mississippi Veterinary Medical Association, 20005 Pineville Road, Long Beach MS 39560 and include a self-addressed stamped envelope.)
© 2008, The Sun Herald (Biloxi, Miss.).
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.