5 Tips to help Prevent Holiday Visits to the Vet

Your animal companion senses your travel anxiety and holiday stress... (Image: Microsoft)
   Your animal companion senses your travel anxiety and holiday stress… (Image: Microsoft)


by Sandi Martinez (Guest contributor)

Christmas is over, and some of us are now putting away the decorations and/or waiting until New Year’s Day has come and gone.  Many of us have traveled or will travel somewhere – and may still be still there – wherever ‘there’ is.

Because our animal companions are part of our family, their care is very important to us.  We will have left our pets with family members, trusted pet-sitters, or sometimes even last-minute trusted acquaintances.

The tension and fear in your furry friend may be obvious as you pack your bags, leave instructions for the sitter, and begin your stressful preparations for travel.  Your animal companion senses your travel anxiety and holiday stress.

While it’s impossible to gauge the inevitable ‘bad behavior’ your little friend will exhibit, here are some helpful tips to alleviate what could be a truly disastrous home-coming!

  • Instruct your sitters/visitors to stick to the feeding schedule you have set for them. Prevent the likelihood that the pet(s) will help themselves by keeping food out of reach or even crating pets until after those sumptuous meals are consumed. (However, keeping in the holiday spirit, a small helping of that juicy turkey or ham, would be very happily received!  Don’t forget to keep the healthy treats you normally give them on hand.)
  • If you allow your sitter/visitor to bring a pet to your home for the holidays, consider how your animal will interact with the furry visitor, especially if they have never met before. Keeping the pets separated is another option; block off doors or crate the animals to help prevent territorial pet disputes from ending up at the Veterinary Emergency room!
  • A need for affection and interaction is paramount with furry friends experiencing separation anxiety; keep an eye out for mishaps between your pets, and human visitors. Again, closed doors and crates can be a good thing. (Children running amok or the elderly may trip on the pet(s), therefore increasing chances you will take a human to the emergency room as well!)
  • Chances are your sitter/visitors are well inclined to leave underwear, socks, and other shiny, (especially for cats) objects out of reach.  Your furry friends will jump at the chance to chew on something, new, unusual, and exciting…
  • The Big No-No… No candy for the pet(s).  Especially anything that has chocolate or gum-like ingredients in it.  Stick to healthy treats.

Again, you wouldn’t have left your pet in just anyone’s hands, but you do want to be clear about the rules you have set up, in order to ensure absolute safety and the best care for your pet, while you are away.

RMSAAM wishes you and yours a Happy and safe New Year!


How’s the Weather?

“Nothing burns like the cold.” ― George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones (Image: Office.com)
“Nothing burns like the cold.” ― George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones (Image: Office.com)

by Sandi Martinez

Cold causes things to slow down and contract, which can make us even colder. This can typically show up in winter as poor circulation, aches and pains, asthma, arthritis or colitis. Winter is the season related to the water element and the organs associated are the Kidneys and Bladder; both are sensitive to cold. The Kidneys are considered to be the gate of life, storing our essence, regulating reproduction and development, fluid distribution and our longevity is directly related to the health of our Kidneys. It’s impossible to be too good to the Kidneys in Chinese medicine, and supporting them becomes very important as we, and our pets, get older.

Winter is the season of retreat and rest, when the Yin is now dominant and Yang energy moves inward. The trees have lost their leaves; the animals hibernate through the long and dark winter months. Winter is a time of stillness and silence, amplifying sound. The ability to listen clearly at this time of year is at its sharpest… not through conversation, but listening to your own body and intuitively heeding its needs, in addition to having a deeper understanding of yourself and others.

The same applies to your animal companions. Though they look out at the world through silence, and conversations are minimal, but to the point, they hear the things we don’t. On stormy or windy days, we are likely to stay indoors, but our pets may not necessarily want to do the same thing! The body qi (life energy) needs to be conserved by staying warm; avoid getting hot. Be sure not to sit too close to an open fire; avoid sweating when taking hot baths or showers, because the pores of the skin open and yang qi is easily gets lost.

Giving your pet regular Acupressure treatments during the winter months is essential to their well-being and keeping up general good health maintenance, producing the following benefits:

  • Boosts the immune system
  • Release emotional blockages
  • Strengthen muscles, tendons, joints, and bones
  • Relieves muscle spasms
  • Replenish the animal’s physical and emotional energy
  • Release endorphins necessary to increase energy or relieve pain
  • Balance energy to optimize the body’s natural ability to heal
  • Release natural cortisone to reduce swelling and inflammation
  • Enhance mental clarity and calmness required for focus in training and performance
  • Resolve injuries more readily by increasing the blood supply and removing toxins

In these final chilly months before spring, keep your animals warm and comfortable, feed them well, and do the same for yourself!