Home visits take hassle out of winter pet care
Cats and dogs can be stoical creatures in the winter months, crouched in tight, watchful balls in the cold dawn or eager to get outdoors if they spy a leash. But just as with humans, it is a time of year when healthcare is especially important.
Much of this is related to coats and nails.
Chrissy MacPherson, owner of the Mobile Vet Nurse service, says many cats’ coats will have thickened in response to the cold. This means more fur to get tangled and with the wetness of winter, more mud to stick to bellies.
Knotted and matted fur is a common problem for shaggier felines and without some help can leave cats feeling extremely uncomfortable, which in turn makes for a grumpier, less social pet, Chrissy says.
“It’s really important to keep on top of maintenance, just as we would for ourselves. Grooming is just like the hairdresser for the cat, and it’s essential,” she says.
A fully qualified veterinarian nurse, Chrissy was working at a clinic when she realised the trip to receive professional help was often more distressing to the animal than an unkempt coat.
She says common use of sedatives at clinics, especially when grooming cats, made visits even more foreboding because it would often be many hours before pets felt themselves again.
In response, The Mobile Vet Nurse started delivering services in the comfort of the pet’s own home.
Almost seven years on, Chrissy and fellow travelling vet nurse, Jessie Morris, now cater to 1400 pet families across Christchurch – and the number is growing.
“Word is definitely out about how much easier it is for pets and people,” Chrissy says.
“Because there are no anaesthetics or sedations involved when we groom cats, as soon as we finish, the cat can just wander off to its bowl or go back to bed – they feel instantly settled.”
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