Tips For Home

          Winter and Holidays

Remember, if it’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for your pet, so keep your animals inside.​

 - If left outdoors, pets can freeze, become disoriented, lost, stolen, injured or killed. In addition, don’t leave pets alone in a car during cold weather, as cars can act as refrigerators that hold in the cold and cause animals to freeze to death. So make them a warm place to sleep off the floor and away from drafts. 

 

  • Pets burn extra energy by trying to stay warm in wintertime. Feeding your pet a little bit more during the cold weather months can provide much-needed calories, and making sure she has plenty of water to drink will help keep her well-hydrated and her skin less dry.

  • Repeatedly coming out of the cold into the dry heat of your home can cause itchy, flaking skin. Keep your home humidified and towel dry your pet as soon as he comes inside, paying special attention to his feet and in-between the toes. Remove any snow balls from between his foot pads.

  • Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter, as a longer coat will provide more warmth. If your dog is long-haired, simply trim him to minimize the clinging ice balls, salt crystals and de-icing chemicals that can dry his skin, and don’t neglect the hair between his toes. If your dog is short-haired, consider getting him a coat or sweater with a high collar or turtleneck with coverage from the base of the tail to the belly. For many dogs, this is regulation winter wear.

  • Bring a towel on long walks to clean off stinging, irritated paws. After each walk, wash and dry your pet’s feet and stomach to remove ice, salt and chemicals—and check for cracks in paw pads or redness between the toes.

  • Bathe your pets as little as possible during cold spells. Washing too often can remove essential oils and increase the chance of developing dry, flaky skin. If your pooch must be bathed, ask your vet to recommend a moisturizing shampoo and/or rinse.

  • Massaging petroleum jelly or other paw protectants into paw pads before going outside can help protect from salt and chemical agents. Booties provide even more coverage and can also prevent sand and salt from getting lodged between bare toes and causing irritation. Use pet-friendly ice melts whenever possible.

  • Like coolant, antifreeze is a lethal poison for dogs and cats. Be sure to thoroughly clean up any spills from your vehicle, and consider using products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol.

In the hustle and bustle of the holidays, we may forget that our pets need extra attention during the winter months. After all, just because they have a built-in coat doesn't mean they don't get cold! But low temperatures aren't the only threat to your pet's health and well-being during the holiday season. Your pet faces multiple hazards both indoors and outdoors throughout the winter months.

  • Hazardous holiday decorations

  • Festive foods that make pets sick

  • Freezing conditions outside

  • Dangerous heaters inside

Greenery, lights and Christmas trees can make the holidays festive, but they also pose risky temptations for our pets. Make sure to unplug all lights on trees as to avoid un wanted shock from a pet chewing. 

Visitors can upset pets, as can the noise and excitement of holiday parties. Even pets that aren't normally shy may become nervous in the hubbub that can accompany a holiday gathering. The following tips will reduce emotional stress on your pet and protect your guests from possible injury. Inform guests you have pets as too avoid them if they have allergies.  Have a safe place for pets to go away from the overwhelming guests, Make sure to notify guests not to feed your animals this can cause unwanted harm. 

Flowers and festive plants can result in an emergency veterinary visit if your pet gets hold of them. Amaryllis, mistletoe, balsam, pine, cedar, and holly are among the common holiday plants that can be dangerous and even poisonous to pets who decide to eat them. Poinsettias can be troublesome as well.