Pet care

Pets and Holidays

When you bring a pet into your home, they become part of the family so naturally they need to be considered when you are planning a holiday. The first and maybe the biggest decision is whether or not they are coming with you!

Travelling WITH pets

Bringing your pet along on holidays can be so rewarding, but it does require some forward planning and some consideration both along the way AND at your final destination.

Never leave your pet unattended in the car.

Health check and grooming

Before you depart, bring your pet into the clinic for a health check and get them up-to-date with immunisations, medications and preventative health treatments. Some airlines or other transport carriers will require a ‘fit to travel’ certificate and/or vaccination certificate which can be provided after your pet’s check-up.

It’s common courtesy to fellow travellers to ensure your pet is clean and fresh smelling, so it’s also a great idea to book your pet in for professional grooming, or give them a good wash at home.

Phone ahead

Travelling with pets has become a lot easier in recent years, with transport, hotels, air bnbs and even campgrounds now offering pet-friendly facilities. Having said that… don’t assume! If you’re planning on taking your pet on holidays with you, please phone ahead to ensure your accommodation is pet-friendly. It doesn’t matter where you’re staying – the last thing you want to discover when you arrive is that your little buddy is not permitted on the premises!

Pack all the things

Don’t forget your pets’ needs in the packing frenzy! Dedicate a bag or suitcase just for your pet to ensure everything is within easy access, including a leash, toys, food, medications, treats, bowls and bedding. It’s a good idea to carry extra bottles of water to keep your pet hydrated along your journey.

List of contacts

In addition to the ‘stuff’, make sure you have your vet’s info handy so if anything were to happen, you can contact them quickly. Also take the time to research emergency vets in the area where you will be holidaying, and bring your pet insurance details with you just in case.

Travelling WITHOUT pets

Boarding Facilities

Boarding kennels and catteries book-out quickly, especially around peak times including school holidays so we advise planning well ahead book your pet into a reputable facility.

Boarding kennels and catteries house lots of animals within relatively small spaces. Some facilities will offer smaller rooms with one or two animals each, others house larger groups together. No matter which facility you choose, it’s important to discuss the space your pet will have access to, what your pet will be fed, your expectations around routine/exercise, any medication that needs to be administered and your pet’s temperament around other animals. All this information will help the staff ensure your pet gets the best possible care while you’re away.


Reputable boarding kennels and catteries will require a copy of your pet’s vaccination history from your veterinarian. If they don’t ask it from you, chances are they will not be asking it from anyone else so there’s every chance that your pet will be exposed to illnesses at their facility. We recommend always selecting a facility that requires proof of pets’ vaccination histories.

Kennels and catteries will differ in the vaccinations they require their guests to be up-to-date with, but generally the minimum requirements are as follows:

  • Dogs will usually need a current C5 Vaccine to provide coverage for canine distemper virus, hepatitis, kennel cough, parainfluenza and parvovirus. While this vaccination is usually given to dogs when they’re puppies, booster vaccines are recommended to maintain immunity. Kennel cough is very common on the Sunshine Coast so please ensure your dog’s C5 is always up-to-date.
  • Cats will usually need a current F3 Vaccine to provide coverage for herpesvirus, calicivirus and parvovirus. This vaccine should be administered annually, beginning from when you cat is a kitten.

It is also a good idea to be sure your pet receives up-to-date worming, flea and tick prevention prior to boarding.

IMPORTANT: Most vaccines require two weeks to become effective, so should be administered well-ahead of your travel plans.

House Sitters

Some pets have a very shy, or anti-social temperament and can easily become stressed when away from their home environment (cats in particular are quite territorial). These types of animals may be much happier with a house sitter staying in your home with them instead. The other great thing about house sitters is that they can sometimes be more economical and can also take care of multiple animals, including the smaller ones (guinea pigs, fish, birds etc) who are more difficult to find temporary accommodation for.

It’s technically very easy to find a house sitter through established websites however, there are important steps you need to take to find a pet sitter that is trustworthy and reliable. Always interview the person and make sure they understand your expectations. Obtain and check references to ensure you feel safe leaving someone in your home and in charge of your pet/s.

Safe travelling!

Preventing Pet Theft


Should they become lost or stolen, a microchip inserted by an authorised veterinarian makes it easier for your pet to be returned to you. You must keep your details up to date! If you move house or change your phone number, update them on the register right away. When getting a pet, you need to update the microchip to show that you are the owner.

Collar ID tags

All pets should have an ID tag with your name and phone number on their collar. Avoid writing your pet’s name on them, as this can help thieves gain their trust.

Opt for quick-release collars for your cat – these automatically open with enough force if your cat gets stuck somewhere, preventing injury.

Desexing your pet

Stolen pets are often sold to breeders, especially if they’re pedigree. By spaying or neutering your pet, you are disincentivizing this. Adding this information on their tags may make thieves think twice before stealing.

Supervision is key

Don’t tie pets up outside a store, and don’t leave them in the car, even if you’re only gone a few minutes. If your pet is in the garden or other exterior space, keep an eye out. Lock any gates, and add alarms so that you can tell if they’ve been opened. Security cameras can also help to dissuade thieves.

Practice recall

Ensure your pet is trained to return when called. For dogs going on walks, keep them on a lead – especially when visiting new places.

Always keep cats home overnight.

Watch what you share

Thieves often target high-value pets, staying close by while waiting for their opportunity. Don’t share your location on social media, try to take different routes while walking your pet, and be wary of any strangers who ask a lot of pet-related questions.

– Article by Vetstoria –

Why is chocolate toxic to pets?

There are not many humans around that don’t love a bit (or a lot) of chocolate here and there, but why is it that we can enjoy the oh-so-delicious treat when it’s actually quite toxic to many of our furry friends?

The culprit is a naughty little molecule called theobromine. Theobromine occurs naturally in some plants, most notably in cacao… the key ingredient of chocolate.

Chemically speaking, the “ine” at the end of its name groups it with other alkaloids like caffeine, nicotine, cocaine and strychnine… absolutely none of which are pet-friendly if there’s any doubt!

Don’t get us wrong, we definitely don’t have a grudge against all alkaloids. There are some super-helpful ones we use in medicine all the time including morphine, quinine and ephedrine. But theobromine is just plain dangerous to our furry friends.

Theobromine Molecule

Just like its cousin caffeine, theobromine incites some nice feelings in humans and puts some pep in our step. But because our pets are smaller and have different metabolisms, even a small amount can be poisonous to them.

You know that feeling you get when you have a big deadline and you slam down coffee after coffee and cola after cola in an attempt to stay up all night? Your mind is fuzzy, your heart is racing, you can’t keep still and you think you might be sick? That’s not the looming deadline, that’s the toxicity of caffeine making itself known. It’s similar to what it feels like when a pet ingests even a small amount of theobromine in chocolate. Worst case is that those symptoms possibly lead to hyperactivity, tremors, seizures and death.

While the concentration of theobromine varies depending on the type of chocolate (baking chocolate and dark chocolate contain higher levels compared to milk chocolate), it’s recommended you refrain from giving any types to your pets, even in small doses.

However, pets quite often help themselves so if you suspect they’ve eaten any chocolate, please call us as soon as possible so we can assess them quickly and start any necessary treatment as early as possible – it could save their life.

Santa’s Naughty and Nice lists for your pets this Christmas

Whilst the team at Maleny Vets love your pets almost as much as you do, we don’t want to see them this festive season (in an emergency situation, that is). Please, please, please remember that animals have different internal make-ups to humans, so many of the foods that we choose to indulge in (or over-indulge in) at this time of year can be incredibly harmful if consumed by your pets. Vets’ orders – keep any and all leftovers for yourself!

Below we’ve compiled a list of the most common offenders when it comes to ‘good intentions gone bad’ at Christmas. In the spirit of the season, we’ve divided suggestions into Santa’s ‘Naughty’ and ‘Nice’ lists…

Naughty List


Loaded with sodium-based nitrates and nitrites, the salt content in ham is way too much for most pets to handle. Too much sodium/salt can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, urination, fluid retention and lethargy.


Chocolate contains theobromine which incites similar effects to caffeine – probably why we love it so much. But because your pets are smaller and have different metabolisms to humans, even a small amount can be poisonous to your pet and lead to nausea, diarrhea, increased heart rate, hyperactivity and possibly even tremors, seizures and death.

Fatty foods

Fatty foods containing butter, oils, meat drippings/grease/fat etc can cause a condition called pancreatitis in your pets. This can be incredibly painful for the poor little guys, and in some cases can result in organ damage, internal bleeding and death.

Prawn shells

They’re smelly and tasty and oh so appealing to your pets, but these little suckers are a common choking hazard and break apart after being ingested, creating sharp little shards that can cause big trouble in your pets’ intestines.

Cooked bones

Just like prawn shells, cooked bones have a tendency to splinter into shards that pierce mouths, throats and intestines, creating all sorts of painful and/or dangerous problems for your pet.


Humans may love these tasty flavour bombs but these two and other members of the Allium family of plants can be toxic to your pets. Symptoms of toxicity (which may take several days to appear) can include vomiting and diarrhea, anemia, breathlessness/rapid breathing, lethargy, abdominal pain, discoloured urine and an elevated heart rate.


A great summer snack for humans, grapes and raisins are another no-no for cats and dogs. Aside from being an obvious choking hazard, all colours of grapes contain toxic compounds that can cause kidney failure in your pets.


Lots of fun and excitement outdoors can lead to serious burns and injuries if your pets aren’t kept secured around barbecues and fires – don’t let those furbabies play anywhere near heat and flames!


A dishonourable mention goes to the forgotten Christmas villain… batteries. Batteries – especially those ‘snack-size’ button fellas – can cause choking, intestinal blockages or corrosive internal ulcers and burns leading to permanent organ damage and death.

Nice List

Gift your pets tick prevention

During the summer months, it is more important than ever to ensure your pets’ tick prevention is up-to-date. This will ensure they have the best chance to be protected from these nasty critters. With the severity of tick numbers in our region, daily checks of your pets is also highly recommended.

Maintain your pets’ normal diet

Just because we humans tend to get a little snack-crazy at this time of year, doesn’t mean our furbabies need to. Do your pets the kindest favour and only feed them their regluar diets, leaving out all the extra snacks and treats that we’re tempted to share with them.

Give your pets lots of cuddles

If you’re lucky enough to have some time off, just spend it playing with your pets and give them lots of extra cuddles. Remember, they’re a huge part of our world but we are their whole world and time with us is the thing they treasure the most!

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Phone: 07 5494 3622

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