WINTER AND THE HOLIDAYS – Keeping your pets safe with the cold temperatures and excitement of the season

Keeping your pets safe with the cold temperatures and excitement of the season

Winter is an exciting time! The temperature drops, snow starts to fall, fires roar in our fireplaces, holiday parties abound, and decorations go up. But this fun season holds some dangers for our pets. Here are some tips for you to make this season as safe as possible for your pets and others.

Keeping Warm

It’s cold out there! Outdoor pets need appropriate shelter from the cold temperatures and wind. Ensure enclosures are windproof, and contain a thick layer of bedding, such as straw. Change the bedding at least weekly, or when it becomes soiled. Pets that get too cold can suffer from frostbite. Check the water supply frequently to make sure it doesn’t freeze, and use a heated water bowl if you can.
Outdoor/feral cats find the warmth of a recently running car to be a comfortable place of refuge. Before getting into your vehicle, consider slapping the hood to scare away any resting felines.

Dangerous Chemicals

Winter is the season for automobile coolant flushes. Antifreeze is one of the most deadly chemicals to pets and wildlife. The sweet taste of antifreeze attracts animals, and just a few licks can be deadly due to kidney failure. Read a previous Noah’s blog post for more information about this deadly toxin.
Ice melt salt is often used this time of year to melt the snow and ice from walkways and driveways. If ingested, these substances can be dangerous to pets and wildlife. Consider using a pet safe ice melt option. Many such products are available on the market now.

Poisonous Plants

Poinsettias, mistletoe, and Christmas cacti make wonderful additions to holiday decorations. However, curious dogs and cats may chew on the leaves or stems. Though not usually deadly, the ingestion of these plants can cause vomiting, diarrhea, inappetance, and general malaise. It is best to keep these plants out of reach of your pets, so they are not tempted.

Holiday Decorations

What fun it is to decorate for the holiday season! But many of the decorations we love may be hazardous to our pets. Electrical cords for lights and moving decorations may be tempting for pets to chew on, so be sure to keep them out of reach.
Christmas trees have many hidden dangers. For the safety of humans and pets, make sure your tree is secured at the base. A toppling tree may cause injury toanyone. Sparkling and shiny Christmas tree decorations may also tempt pets to play with or chew on them. If ingested, ornaments may cause stomach or intestinal obstructions, which require emergency surgery. Tinsel is especially alluring to cats – they are mesmerized by the shiny string. Ingestion of tinsel can cause severe intestinal obstruction, symptoms of which include vomiting, inappetance, dehydration, lethargy, and abdominal pain.
If you choose to have a live Christmas tree in your home, you will need to provide it water. Keep in mind your pet may find the water under the tree to drink. This may be a problem if you have added anything to the water, such as fertilizer. Take measures to keep your pets away from treated water, such as using a tall planter for your live Christmas tree.

As always, if you are concerned about your pet, contact your Noah’s Animal Hospital. Noah’s Central 24 Hour Emergency Hospital is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to assist in case of emergency. We wish you a safe and happy winter season!

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