Keeping Pets Healthy During the Holidays

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With all the hustle-bustle the holiday season brings, your four legged friends may be needing you to pay extra attention to them, especially to their diets.

Veterinarians estimate animals gain about 10 to 15 percent of their body weight during the winter months. They say this is because humans tend to hand out scraps under the table, and careful measurements of food are as vital as daily exercise.

Here are some pet health tips:

Pay attention to the packaging of pet foods. Generally, one cup of dry food per 10 pounds per day works.

Trim the branches higher around your Christmas tree. This way if you have a puppy or kitten, they won't chew on the pine needles or swallow the ornaments.

Make sure to get your pet some outside exercise daily. Shoot for at least 20 minutes every day. If it's too cold for them, consider buying pet sweaters.

If traveling with your pet, make sure to have a health certificate from your vet, saying they've been seen 30 days prior to your flight. You may consider purchasing sedation pills for your pet while traveling, but they will not be prescribed unless your vet says your pet is in good health.

And year-round, make sure your pet is caught up on all of his shots.

Also, make sure to check with your airlines prior to the flight. Each airline has specific weight requirements and carrier specifications.