Veterinary Neurologist Touts Healthy Pet Gifts, Offers Free Pet First Aid Guide

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Pet owners have healthy options for pet gifts this holiday season. Creating a pet first aid kit is a gift of life for pets in emergencies. A free Pet First Aid Guide is available from Veterinary Neuro Services.

Taking the time to put together a pet first aid kit can be a huge gift for your pet and just might save his life in an emergency.

December is Safe Toys and Gifts Month, and veterinarian Dr. Anne Chauvet is issuing guidelines for healthy pet gifts this holiday season and is offering a free Pet First Aid Guide for pet owners.

Well-meaning pet owners can unintentionally harm their pets when they are trying to be kindest to them by giving inappropriate treats, said Chauvet, founder of Veterinary Neuro Services in Sarasota. Bones of any kind are never a good gift for a pet, she said. Even non-splintering bones, along with pig ears and rawhide chews, can block a dog's bowel or intestine and may require emergency surgery.

Small toys and other items can be swallowing hazards for a pet the same as they would be for a young child. "Stay away from pet gifts that either could be swallowed whole or that include bells or other small items that might be chewed off. That also pertains to small household items," Chauvet said. "Taking the time to put together a pet first aid kit can be a huge gift for your pet and just might save his life in an emergency."

A free downloadable Pet First Aid Guide, including a Quick Reference Guide for Pet Emergencies is available at

Chauvet said great pet lovers gifts that will be meaningful to your pet include gifts of time. "Spend five minutes interacting with your pets at least a couple of times a day. Pet them, talk to them and play with them. When you wake up in the morning or get home from work, stop and spend a minute greeting them," she said. "Get yourself a new pair of shoes and walk your dog. My dog knows exactly what pair of shoes means a short walk, a long walk or, if it's high heels, no walk. Regular walks are a wonderful treat and essential for her good health and weight management."

Another gift of good health is to keep up with monthly heartworm and flea medication, she added.

"Pet insurance is probably the best gift as is a savings account for your pet to cover routine care or for emergencies. As a veterinary neurologist, I regularly perform back surgeries that require advanced diagnostics and significant post-operative care. These can cost between $3,000 and $5,000 depending on where you live, which can put a lot of pressure on the family budget," Chauvet said. "It is difficult enough when the family pet is ill or needs surgery without having to worry about where the money is going to come from for treatment. So be creative this year, and give your pet the gift of love."
About Veterinary Neuro Services:

Dr. Anne Chauvet, one of about 150 veterinary neurologists and neurosurgeons in North America, is the founder of Veterinary Neuro Services in Sarasota, Fla. Veterinary Neuro Services treats brain, spinal cord and neuromuscular conditions in animals and is the only strictly neurology and neurosurgery practice on Florida's Gulf Coast. More information is available by calling 941-929-1818 or online at


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Sue Engelhart
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