Pet Winter Care Safety
Dr. Christina Frick, D.V.M.
The holidays are a joyous time but there are pet hazards during the holidays. Here are some tips to protect your pets from the possible dangers.
A pet's need for food, shelter and loving care increases during the cold winter months. Provide proper shelter for your pet. Indoor pet's area should be in a warm, draft-free area. Outdoor animals should have a warm insulated pet house or shelter with a "door" to keep out winter winds. If your pet is in a pen, block the wind with straw bale or canvas. Remove ice and snow from your pet's paws and coat to prevent frostbite. Frostbitten skin may turn reddish, white or gray, and may be scaly or sloughing. Thaw out frostbitten areas slowly and contact your veterinarian immediately.
It's a good practice to check on pets during daylight hours several times a day, especially if penned outside.
Staying warm requires extra calories, so feed your pet accordingly when the temperature drops. Always have fresh, clean water available for your pet. If your pet is outdoors, be sure to check their water frequently since it may freeze. Use care when using heated water bowls, they can catch things on fire.
Don't leave your pet alone in a vehicle. If the engine is running, the carbon monoxide could endanger their lives. If the engine is off, the temperature in the car could get too cold.
Like people, pets seem to be more susceptible to illness in the winter. Take your animals to Frick Vet Services if you notice any signs of illness.
Hazards to animals during the holidays:
Keep these items away from animals or in a safe place that they can not get into.
(If your pet does get into any of these dangers, Call Dr. Frick, 285-5267, immediately for treatment.)
*Antifreeze, Snow Removal Salts or Snow Melt
*Glass Ornaments, Metal Hooks, Tinsel (Icicles), Angel Hair (Spun Glass), Popcorn Strands
*Rubber Bands, Staples, String, Ribbon, Plastic, Foam Packaging, Foil
*Plastic toys, small rawhide sticks or choking hazards
*Plants- Poinsettas, Mistletoe, Holly, Ivy, Christmas Greens, even if they chew on leaves, flowers or berries, Tree water containers with preservatives
*Flames, Dripping Wax from candles, Portable Heaters can cause burns
*Foods- Cookies, Candy, Chocolate, Sugar, Hard Candy, Tinfoil, Cellophane wrappers, Onions, Macademia nuts, Puddings, Creamy Deserts, Gravies, Heavy Cheese Sauces, Broccoli, Raisins, Potato Peelings, Alcohol, Holiday foods high in fat, Poultry Bones
The holiday season can be a stressful time for animals. Try to keep a normal schedule during all the excitement. If you can not take your pets on the road or your animal is stressed when company comes, consider boarding your pets at Frick Vet Services.
Dr. Christina Frick is available during the holidays if your pet becomes sick, needs boarding or general appointments. Dr. Frick can be reached for emergencies 24 hours a day. Have a happy and hazard-free Holiday Season.