Holiday Pet Safety Tips in White Bear Lake
Your pet is a part of the family, and you want them to enjoy the holidays as much as anyone else. Yet many of our festive decorations and food can be dangerous for our pets, and the icy cold weather doesn’t help, either! Take our animal hospital's holiday pet safety tips to heart and give your pet a holiday filled with cheer and not tears!
Cold Weather Safety
First, let’s talk about the obvious: it’s cold outside! Our pets are really not much better off than we are, even with their thick coats. While some breeds like Huskies and Malamutes will tolerate the cold better than short-haired breeds like Boxers and Bulldogs, all pets will need a reprieve from the cold weather. Here are some tips to keep them warm:
- Take shorter walks on especially cold days—this is both for them and you!
- Be aware of your pet’s tolerance to cold and if they seem uncomfortable, get them a sweater or jacket to wear on your walks.
- Salt and deicers can cause irritation and damage to sensitive paws. You can massage paws with petroleum jelly before walks or buy booties for your pup to wear.
- Always wipe your pet down after a walk since salt, deicers, snow, and ice can all accumulate on their paws, legs, and belly.
Nothing fills the house with holiday cheer like festive decorations. Pets, however, are prone to curiosity and their playful nature could cause them to get into things that they shouldn’t. Some decorations can be harmful if ingested or played with, so keep them away from these items:
- Electric lights can cause burns or electrocution if chewed.
- The Christmas tree may topple over and injure pets if they climb it, or play with it too enthusiastically.
- Holly and mistletoe are both toxic if ingested, so hang them nice and high, or use artificial plants.
- Tinsel is loved by many cats for its shiny and dangly nature, but the material is easily ripped and any small piece ingested could cause digestive obstruction.
- Ornaments come in many shapes, sizes and materials. Some could be easily shattered and damage soft paw pads or mouths, while other are breakable or small enough to be ingested.
Even some of our healthy foods are dangerous to pets. It’s best to keep the feast to ourselves! Keep pets away from these toxic foods:
- Fatty meats like gristle, turkey skin, and even ham and sausage are unhealthy for them (and us), and can cause a serious condition called pancreatitis.
- Baked goods and candies are too sugary and rich for pets, and some may even contain xylitol, an artificial sweetener that is highly toxic.
- Onions, garlic, shallots, and leeks are tasty ingredients in many of our dishes, but these are poisonous to pets.
- Chocolate is a known toxin to pets and the darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is.
Ask us any questions you may have, and we’ll be happy to help! We hope you and your family have a happy holiday!