Stress-Free Pet Owners, Safe Pets

Holiday Pet Safety in Amesbury, MA

During the holiday season, there are so many dangers our pets may encounter, but if a few extra precautions are taken, you can keep your best friend safe.

Top 5 Most Common Holiday Dangers

These are some of the most common dangers that we often see during the holiday season:

  • While we can handle having a few drinks in celebration of the season, our pets cannot. It’s important to always keep alcoholic beverages out your of your pet’s reach to ensure that they’re safe from the danger of alcohol poisoning.
  • Christmas trees. It isn’t the holiday season without a festive tree! However, these lovely decorations can also cause a few hazards in the home. Christmas trees can be knocked over by overly adventurous and curious pets, causing damage to the home and injury to the animals!
  • Electrical cords. Does your best friend like to chew? The sight of all those new cords under the tree may be too appealing for your pet, so we recommend disguising and hiding electrical cords to prevent your pet’s curiosity. It’s also important that they never be left unattended around the decorations!
  • Holiday meals and sweets. You hear all year round that there are foods your pet should never consume, but during the holiday season we have so much more of those dangerous foods around the house! Traditional holiday meals contain so many of those dangers, like poultry bones, onions, garlic, grapes, and more. In addition, we often do a lot of baking during the holidays, introducing our pets to even more potential dangers with chocolate, sugar, macadamia nuts, raisins, and more. Keep those foods and treats out of your pet’s reach at all times!
  • Poinsettias and other holiday plants. For some odd reason, the most popular plants to bring inside the home at the holidays are toxic to your pet! Poinsettias, amaryllis, and lilies of all kinds are dangerous and we recommend keeping them out of your pet’s reach at all times so thjat your pet doesn’t have access to the leaves or berries that may fall off. You may also want to consider purchasing silk flowers for the look of the festive plant without the dangers.

If you have any questions about your pet’s safety and well-being this holiday season, please contact our team with questions. That’s what we’re here for! Have a happy and safe holiday with your pet this year.

How Do Wellness Exams Help Your Pet?


The Merrimac Valley Animal Hospital team believes in the importance of annual wellness examinations for each one of our patients. Having your pet brought in to our hospital to be examined by our veterinarians offers them the opportunity to have potential health problems identified earlier. Also, regular check-ups offer our veterinarians the opportunity to keep a check on developing issues in our patients. For example, if we see a pet often enough, we can tell when something is even slightly different from the last visit and can take steps to identify the cause of the change.

What Happens During My Pet’s Wellness Exam?

During your pet’s annual wellness visit, you can expect the following:

  • Complete nose-to-tail physical examination
    • Ears
    • Eyes
    • Mouth
    • Skin and hair coat
    • Lumps and bumps check
    • Joints, muscles, and mobility
    • Abdomen
    • Feet
    • …and more
  • Vaccinations
  • Diagnostics, if preliminary examinations indicate their necessity
  • An open conversation with your veterinarian

What Else does Merrimac Valley Animal Hospital Offer?

At Merrimac Valley Animal Hospital, we offer a range of preventive veterinary services to ensure that your pet is always able to live their best life, pain free! In addition to routine services like wellness checks, vaccination, and pest prevention, we provide tailored life-stage care for puppies and kittens to senior pets. Our team also makes an effort to encourage healthy lifestyles through nutritional counseling and weight management.

If you have questions about our range of exceptional veterinary services, please don’t hesitate to ask! We would love to talk with you about ensuring that your pet is on the road to good health, with a long and happy life ahead!

Special Promo for New Clients

Merrimac Valley Animal Hospital offers first visit savings for all new patients to our hospital. For new pets, first visits are $20, a savings of $30! We love to welcome new patients and new pet families to our practice and we look forward to meeting you and your pet for the first time!

Five Ways to Keep Your Pet Safe this Summer

Bag the tent, pack the bug spray, ice the cooler, and don’t forget the leash! As you make plans for your summer trips with your pet, it’s important that you be well prepared. Merrimac Valley Animal Hospital has put together a list of five tips for how to keep your pet companion safe during those outdoor summer excursions. If you have any questions or need to schedule an appointment before your trip, feel free to contact us.
Camping or Hiking with your pet Amesbury, MA

1) Pack a Pet First Aid Kit

Having a pet first aid kit on hand is one of the best ways to be prepared for potential pet accidents and injuries. Since there are many conditions that may require immediate attention, having a kit and knowing basic first aid can reduce the risk of infection and even save your pet’s life. Make sure your kit includes Merrimac Valley Animal Hospital’s phone number (978-388-3074), the number of the closest emergency veterinarian to your destination, your contact information, and your pet’s information. Your kit should also include medical supplies (tweezers, cotton balls, gauze, etc.).

2) Keep Your Pet’s Vaccinations Updated

Ticks and other parasites can pose a threat to pets, especially outdoors, so it’s important to keep your pet’s vaccinations up-to-date so they can be protected from parasitic diseases. Some of the most common parasitic diseases that pets are at risk for include Lyme disease (caused by ticks) and heartworm disease (caused by mosquitoes).

Another outdoor danger that pet vaccinations can provide protection against is an infectious disease known as leptospirosis, which is caused from a bacteria that’s spread through the urine of infected animals. This infected urine can survive in water or soil for weeks or even months, so avoid letting your pet drink stagnant water in the woods during walks and hikes

Last but certainly not least is the threat of rabies. Rabies is a viral disease that’s spread through the bites or scratches of infected animals. It can also be transferred by the animal’s saliva. With rabies vaccinations, you can decrease the risk of rabies for your pet, should they ever come in contact with a rabid animal. If you are unsure if your pet’s vaccinations are updated, give us a call at (978) 388-3074.

3) Always Consider Your Pet’s Comfort

Your pet may have four legs, but they can still get tired after an extended hike. Make sure to take breaks during your hikes if your pet’s pace starts to slow down or if they start panting heavily. Consider the ground as well, as some terrain can be uncomfortable for a pet’s paws. If you’ll be camping with your pets, always keep them in the tent with you, where they can be both safe (from parasites and potential nocturnal predators) and comfortable. And don’t forget to bring an extra blanket for your pet to sleep on, too! If your pets appears to be uncomfortable for any reason, whether it’s related to heat, terrain, or exhaustion, attend to them immediately.

4) Keep Your Pet Cool and Hydrated

This is important both outdoors and in the car, since the interior car temperature can quickly reach dangerous levels in a matter of minutes. As a rule of thumb, never leave your pet alone in a car in the summer time. While your pet is outdoors, have plenty of cool, fresh water on hand, and provide as much shade as possible, so they can stay cool and hydrated. Remember to bring a bowl, too! There are many portable options available.

5) Don’t Forget the Flea and Tick Control!

 Fleas and ticks thrive in warmer climates and can cause a number of health problems for pets, ranging from flea allergy dermatitis, Lyme disease, and anemia. To protect your pets, Merrimac Valley Animal Hospital recommends that you provide them with a year-round parasite preventative. This is especially important before your outdoor trips. We can make recommendations on the best preventatives for your pet, so call us today at 978-388-3074 to learn more or to schedule an appointment.