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December 2015

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If you have any questions or concerns at all leading up to and throughout your pet’s stay, please do not hesitate to contact us via phone (5282 1286), email ( or on our Facebook page.

What’s Happening at Elcho Park Pet Hotel? 

Well it’s the beginning of December already and our attention is drawn to the busiest time of the year. Christmas at Elcho Park is a very exciting time. We have so many pets come through our doors, many new faces and also the return of many old friends. Already, we have had a number of pets who will be staying with us right throughout the holiday season, checked in – a sure sign that Santa is just around the corner!
To ensure a smooth Check In and stay at Elcho Park during the holiday season, here are some reminders for the pets staying with us over the Christmas and New Years break:

  • Elcho Park Pet Hotel is at peak capacity in all accommodation types. Therefore it is extremely important that all pets are up to date with current vaccinations, with no exceptions. The health and safety of the pets staying here are of the utmost importance to us. All cats must have a minimum of an F3, and for dogs a C5 to be eligible for boarding, as per Victorian state law. It is a requirement of boarding that a current vaccination certificate is cited at Check In. Please contact your vet to ask them to present you with a copy of their vaccination certificate well beforehand, as if it has elapsed, it gives you plenty of time to have had their vaccination incubation period completed prior to boarding.
  • There is a minimum 10 day charge applicable to all reservations, regardless of the number of days stayed.
  • It is very important that all dogs are on leash and cats are within a cat carrier before entering the car park. If you do not have appropriate means of restraining your pet, please leave them in your car briefly and one of our friendly pet attendants can come out to meet you.
  • If you have a dog that is very nervous or aggressive with other pets, please notify staff and we will assist you in bringing them straight through to be checked in.
  • During the Christmas break, particularly on December 24th (Christmas Eve) and December 27th we can have over 100 pets checking in and out of the facility in a very short amount of time. Please keep in mind that there may be a short wait and your pet will be immediately checked in once you enter the office. To avoid tearful goodbyes and causing stress to your pet during the Check In process, give them plenty of cuddles in the car and come in excited for their wonderful holiday!
  • It is important to reconfirm your own and your emergency contact details with staff at Check In. In the case of an emergency, and we are unable to reach you, it will be the role of your emergency contact to speak on your behalf if veterinary attention is required. It is advised that you have a brief chat with your nominated person about your wishes if ever a situation such as this arose.
  • We are closed on all public holidays throughout the season, including Monday December 28th as the official Boxing Day holiday.
  • We are having special opening hours on December 24th (8:00am – 12:00pm) and December 31st (8:30am – 12:00pm) so please have a look at our website ( and the end of this newsletterfor our opening hours.
  • Like us on Facebook during the holiday season for updates and photos of our pets during their stay!

'Christmas Tips' from the RSPCA 

Christmas is a time of cheer for humans, but for pets it can mean a change in routine, new and potentially dangerous objects around the house, more visitors entering the house, higher noise levels, not to mention all those great smells wafting from the kitchen.
Many of the things that make Christmas a time of cheer can impact and pose a threat to the health of our pet. Read our tips below to prevent your pet from requiring a visit to the vet these holidays. Additionally, keep an eye on your pet and if it exhibits any abnormal behaviour which could indicate a health problem, take it to the vet immediately.

My pet loves playing with Christmas decorations. How can I decrease the risk of illness or injury?

Christmas trees, decorations such as ribbon and tinsel, and presents all pose a risk to the health of many pets if consumed.

  • Some pets are attracted to sparkly items and will paw them or chew them. Keep an eye on your pet for such behaviour and put any sparkly items well above its reach. Things to beware of are flickering tree lights, tinsel, sparkly ribbon or wrapping paper and small and sparkly ornaments.
  • Round ball-like decorations may seem similar to a tennis ball to your dog, however, if broken in the mouth, the shards of plastic or glass can cause lacerations to the tongue and intestines and require surgery. Avoid hanging such ornaments or locate them only towards the top of the tree where your dog can’t reach them.
  • Beware of what you hang on your tree. Edible treats such as candy canes or chocolate may be attractive to your pet and harmful if consumed.
  • Cats in particular love string, and tinsel can seem like a very attractive toy. If dogs or cats eat tinsel it can pose an extreme risk to their health, obstructing the intestines and often creating a surgical emergency. Symptoms may include: decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea, listlessness and weight loss.

Can I feed my pet Christmas food scraps?

You should always remember that pets are not humans and have different digestive systems to us. Make sure any food that you give your pet is in keeping with its standard diet.

Christmas is a time of giving, but some of us tend to get carried away when it comes to providing our pets with treats. Many human foods can cause serious illness to our four legged friends, take caution when choosing what treats to give your pet.

Turkey, ham, and all meats

  • Most cooked meats are ok to feed to dogs and cats in small quantities.
  • Do not feed your dog or cat cooked bones (they can splinter easily and damage your dog’s throat and intestines).
  • Keep the meat scraps free of gravy and marinades (while we enjoy pepper, chilli, soy sauce and fats, these items may upset your pets stomach).

Chocolate, Lollies and Christmas Pudding

  • Chocolate: The ingestion of chocolate by pets can result in vomiting, diarrhoea and hyperactivity, as well as muscle twitching, increased urination or excessive panting. Chocolate contains a naturally occurring stimulant called theobromine; extreme poisoning can kill your pet.
  • Christmas Pudding: Many pets have intolerances to dairy foods so Christmas pudding is not safe to feed your pet. Grapes and raisins can also be toxic to pets; so reach for a pet-food treat instead.
  • Lollies: and sugar-free sweet products can contain Xylitol which is highly toxic to pets. Just a small amount can cause lethargy, loss of balance, permanent brain damage, liver failure and death.
If you want to give your pet treats, purchase specially made treats for pets such as gourmet biscuits from this Happy Yappers Christmas pack from our online store or check the pet food section of your supermarket.

What else should I be cautious of around the festive season?

  • Christmas Plants and Flowers such as Poinsettias, amaryllis, mistletoe and holly are poisonous to your pets. Make sure they are out of their reach, as consumption could result in illness or death.
  • Fireworks: Many pets experience distress and anxiety during fireworks displays and as a result try to escape. Events such as Carols by Candlelight and New Years Eve often include a fireworks display, so caution should be taken during this period.

How can I make Christmas safe and comfortable for my pet?

  • After unwrapping the presents, quickly clean up any plastic, ribbons and bows that could strangle or be swallowed by your pet.
  • If you are going out or expecting visitors, exercise your pet before they arrive so that it is restful and happy to nap once the festivities start.
  • Let your pet have a quiet spot to itself if you have visitors or the house gets noisy; pets need a rest and some quiet time too or they can become stressed and anxious.

How can I make Christmas special for my pet?

We love our pets, and during Christmas time you may experience the urge to make them feel extra special. Here are some tips on treating your pet in a safe and healthy way:

  • Change the way you feed your pet: On Christmas day create a treasure hunt through the house or garden for its regular dry food.
  • Mix its regular food with a treat: small treat food such as mixing dry biscuits with some tinned food.
  • Recipes for making edible treats and meals for many varieties of pet are widely available on the internet. Use your common sense to make sure there is nothing in the recipe that might upset your pet’s stomach.
  • Games: Spend extra quality time with your pet by playing games or going for extra walks.
SOURCE: RSPCA, 2015,, date accessed: 16/11/15

DIY Paw Print Christmas Tree Decorations


Looking for a way to include your dog in on holiday decorating? These adorable paw print ornaments from Cornflower Blue Studio are a super easy DIY Christmas project for you AND your pup!
Mix 1/2 cup cornstarch and 1 cup baking soda in a saucepan. Slowly add 3/4 cup of water, while stirring.
Place on a medium burner and stir constantly. Mixture will begin to thicken - make sure that youare stirring to the bottom of the pot, picking up the thickened mixture that is down by the burner.
Once it has come together as a doughy ball, remove it from the heat and let it sit until you can comfortably handle it. When it has cooled, knead it for a minute or so, until it is soft and pliable.
Section into pieces, roll into balls, and press flat.
Next, you will have to go to your dog and press his paw into the dough firmly and as evenly as possible. Use a toothpick to make a small hole for your string to go through at the top of the ornament.
Finally, bake in a130 degree (Celsius) oven for 30 minutes on a tray lined with parchment paper or aluminium foil.
Thread with festive string and hang on your tree!
SOURCE: Modern Dog,,

A Puppy’s Christmas


It's the day before Christmas
And all through the house
The puppies are squeaking
An old rubber mouse. 
The wreath which had merrily
Hung on the door
Is scattered in pieces
All over the floor.
The stockings that hung
In a neat little row
Now boast a hole in
Each one of the toes.
The tree was subjected
To bright-eyed whims,
And now, although splendid,
It's missing some limbs.
I catch them and hold them.
"Be good", I insist.
They lick me, then run off
To see what they've missed.
And now as I watch them
The thought comes to me,
That theirs is the spirit
That Christmas should be.
Should children and puppies
Yet show us the way,
And teach us the joy
That should come with this day?
Could they bring the message
That's written above,
And tell us that, most of all
Christmas is love.


SOURCE: Guy Sports, 2015, ‘, accessed: 16/11/2015


Pets of Elcho Park – A Day in the Life

Ember is getting into the Christmas spirit in the Cattery!


Pet Quotes

“Friendship isn’t about whom you have known the longest… it’s about who came and never left your side.” – Unknow


Elcho Park Pet Hotel Christmas/ New Years Opening Hours

Monday 21st December 8:30am – 5:45pm
Tuesday 22nd December 8:30am –5:45pm
Wednesday 23rd December CLOSED
Thursday 24th December 8:00am – 12:00pm
Friday 25th December CLOSED
Saturday 26th December CLOSED
Sunday 27th December 11:00am – 5:00pm
Monday 28th December CLOSED
Tuesday 29th December 8:30am – 5:45pm
Wednesday 30th December CLOSED
Thursday 31st December 8:30am – 12:00pm
Friday 1st January CLOSED
Saturday 2nd January 8:30am – 12:45pm
Sunday 3rd January 11:00am – 5:00pm
Monday 4th January 8:30am – 5:45pm
**Following trading hours are as usual**


About Us

The Pets Hotel Country Club is situated at Elcho Park and boasts a history that dates back 150 years! The bluestone cottage was originally built in 1867 as the gatehouse to the Elcho Homestead located on the hill on Bacchus Marsh Road and was part of a 4,000 acre estate.

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  • Thank you so much to the staff at Elcho Park Pet Hotel! This was the first time leaving our Mac for more than a night and I was so worried as to how he'd go! Staff were very understanding with this worried mum ringing to check on her puppy! He's come home so relaxed and happy and just want some cuddle time! Highly recommend to anyone needing to leave their pets! Thank you all from the De Marchi's and Mac!

    Jessie Henley April 7th 2015 (Facebook)
  • (5 stars) We have 2 high maintenance rescue dogs that have been institutionalised to stay in our local kennels. Unfortunately they were closed over a period recently and we needed to look elsewhere. Elcho Park was recommended to us by our local kennels and we travelled down from Ballan to do a trial. Jocelyn was exceptional and talked us through a long list of obviously well established and used procedures they have in place for difficult to handle dogs. We then subsequently met Ellen and Marnie at check in and check out who were equally knowledgeable, relaxed with handling the boys and encouraging of us keeping in touch to see how the boys progressed. We rang every day!!! Our littlest initially refused to eat which meant he wasn't getting some medication. The girls were extremely creative about getting him comfortable with lots of different snacks, food choices, hiding v crushing up etc. They also went to great lengths to spend time at the pens so he would be more trusting and relaxed. Perseverance paid off and for that we are so grateful. They also came home relaxed, happy and very vocal ... sadly no bark issues here!!! I will agree with others that the pens were a little on the smelly side and the facility does look quite tired and in need of a little love. That said the pens we had the boys in were spotlessly clean and there was lots of clean fresh water when we arrived unannounced to pick them up just after 8:30am Tuesday. All I can say is the team there really is amazing, the efforts they went to working with us was beyond impressive and their commitment to the animals in their care unquestionable. 5 stars from us ☺

    Michelle Hocking (Google Reviews)
  • (5 stars) Rocky love there service he never says a bad word about them.

    Lara Wreckers (Google Reviews)
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Contact Information

Phone: (03) 5282 1286

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170 Elcho Road
Lara Vic. 3212