Holiday Safety For Your Pet.

1 Comment Posted by admin in Pet Care on Friday, November 30th, 2012.

Enjoying the Holidays with your pets – A quick reminder for pet safety! 

The winter months mean beautiful scenery, outdoor sports, parties and lots of fun!However this time of year can also be a very stressful time for your pets. It’s not always the change to cold weather or snow that causes an issue; there are many other wintertime dangers. Here are some quick reminders and helpful tips to get you and your furry friend through the holiday season safely! 

*During a holiday party, your pet might find all the excitement a bit overwhelming, or they might find the perfect opportunity to get into some trouble, sometimes serious trouble. If Fluffy doesn’t interact well with unfamiliar people or a large number of guests she can become extremely stressed, and this is how accidents happen.  If you can’t trust Fluffy, or your party guests for that matter, it may be best to remove her from the festivities until your guests have left. She will thank you for the chance to rest and relax in a quiet environment! 

*Holiday goodies should never be shared with your pet. Buddy’s diet should remain the same. If you want Buddy to have a little something special for dinner, try to stick with pet friendly snacks, such as crunchy treats or pet jerky strips. Foods high in fat can cause severe digestive upset. Other foods such as grapes, raisins or onions can actually be toxic to your pet and can cause kidney failure. Sweets, chocolates and baked goods may be the worst offenders, artificial sweeteners are known to be toxic to pets, and in some cases just a few ounces of chocolate can cause seizures or serious health problems. Most emergency visits during the holidays result from a pet having ingested human food. 

*Decorative plants such as Lilies can be fatal to cats if ingested. Mistletoe and Holly can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Poinsettias generally cause irritation to the mouth and stomach. Try to keep these plants up off the floor or table where pets have access to them. 

*Christmas tree decorations such as bulbs, bells, tinsel & hooks are extremely easy to knock off, leaving several serious injuries to follow. If tree decorations present a problem, consider leaving the bottom 10-12 inches free of any lights or bulbs. Home decorations, extension cords and light strands are also very tempting to a playful or inquisitive pet. Remember to unplug any cords or light strands that Rover might have access to when unsupervised. Wrapped gifts under the tree are an easy target for playful pets: however ribbon or tinsel can pose a problem if ingested. So play it safe, keep your holiday décor out of Rover’s reach.

 *If you have a live Christmas tree, remember to keep the water in the tree stand covered. Not only will pine tree sap make your pet sick if ingested, but the water is stagnant and often contains fertilizers. Prevent pets from accidentally knocking the tree over by securing the tree to a wall using fishing line and an eye hook. 

*Antifreeze is the biggest cause of poisoning this time of year! It has a sweet taste that is attractive to both dogs and cats. Even the smallest amount ingested can be fatal. Contact your Veterinarian immediately if you suspect your pet has ingested any antifreeze! 

*Outdoor pets must have a warm shelter that protects them from the weather. Frostbite and hypothermia can occur with the cold temperatures, and can be severe. Common areas for frostbite are the tips of ears, paw pads and the tip of the tail. Contact your Veterinarian immediately if you suspect frostbite. If pets are housed outside, they should have a cozy and well insulated shelter that is large enough to stand and turn around in. If it is too large, it will loose heat quickly. The shelter should be located in a well protected area with sun exposure if possible. The ground should be slightly elevated to prevent moisture accumulation and allow for melting snow to drain away. You can elevate the shelter if you prefer, to keep it off the frozen ground. Bedding should be fresh straw or hay, generously spread throughout the shelter for padding and warmth. You may add blankets if you wish for added comfort. Be sure to replace the bedding if it becomes damp or soiled. 

*During winter months, outdoor pets are susceptible to dehydration. Consider a heated water bowl. Small bowls of water freeze quickly and make it difficult to keep fresh water available to your pet. Snow is not an acceptable source of water.

*Senior pets are especially prone to injury from snow or ice covered surfaces. If you have a patio or deck that your pet will need to navigate around, consider using weather safe rugs or mats for traction on these surfaces. Shoveling a grassy spot close to the house is a great way to decrease the chance of an injury for aging pets.

*Paws should be checked regularly during snowy months. Take an extra minute after your pet comes back indoors to check between the paw pads, any snow and/or ice accumulation should be removed. Keeping the hair trimmed between the pads and the nails will help. A groomer will be able to help you maintain this, if it is an issue for your pet. Salt used for deicing roads and sidewalks can cause the pads to dry out and crack. To prevent this, wash and dry damp feet when your pet comes back indoors. You may also look for “pet-friendly” deicing salts at your local hardware store. 

Have a Safe and Happy Holiday Season!

Enjoy the time with your family AND pets!!!

1 Comment for Holiday Safety For Your Pet.

Jenn Barr | November 30, 2012 at 11:50 pm

Great article and very informative. Thanks, very much appreicated!!

Merry Christmas 🙂

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