Winter Prep and Holiday Hazards for your Pets!

Today we will be talking about preparing for winter and holiday hazards for your pets! Its a great read, because it’s written by me, Sequoia!

Winter Prep Tips

If your fur baby spends most of their day outside while you are at work, make sure they are comfortable and safe while you’re away and the winter winds are blowing!

Even though our pets have fur, that doesn’t mean its a perfect insulator, especially in very cold weather. They need shelter, food, water, and a blanket! To name a few!

For Cats: Make sure that they have a warm dry shelter, fresh water, and food. If it is going to freeze overnight you should put a bird bath water heater in the water dish so it doesn’t freeze. Make sure the shelter is insulated and stays dry. You can use a shelter from the pet store, or make one from materials at home. Try to keep the shelter under a covering, like a garage, carport, or porch. And make sure the shelter is off the ground so it stays warmer as well.

For Dogs: Make sure they also have a warm dry shelter, fresh water, and food. You can put a water heater in the dogs bowl as well to help keep it from freezing. And you can use the same type of sheltering as you would for a cat.

To help encourage them to go potty during these cold times outside when its time to go, you can shovel a small patch in the grass so they can go in the grass and not snow. You can also try getting booties for your dog to help with the cold. You can put coats on your dogs, just make sure that they are dry and if they do get wet, you have something dry to change them into to avoid frostbite, and make sure the booties don’t fit so tight they cut your dogs circulation off.

Make sure you follow these steps to keeping your pet safe and dry and out of the blustery winds! And when you are home, snuggle up with your fur baby by the fire and keep them inside!

Holiday Hazards

Holidays are full of parties, gatherings, and holly jolly people. But it can be an especially dangerous time for your pets to ingest some delicious figgy pudding or other holiday items!

Make sure to watch out for these hazard items and a few extra winter tips!

1: Holiday Tinsel and Ornaments

Tinsel isn’t toxic, but its shiny reflection is very attractive to pets, particularly to cats. Once it is consumed it can cause serious injury to your pet like getting lodged in its throat, and blocking an intestine. Ornaments are bright and colorful and make pets curious to play with them. Place glass ornaments higher up on the tree, and remember to not leave your pet unsupervised with these ornaments as they can break injuring your pet, or they may swallow the pieces and lacerate the throat and mouth.

2: Holiday Lighting and Candles

Does your pet like to chew? Make sure you check your holiday lights for signs of fraying or chewing and use a grounded three-prong extension cord as a safety precaution. If a pet does chew a cord it can cause electric shock and even death. If you have candles on display, make sure they are in hard to access spots for your pets. Pets could burn themselves, or knock them over and cause a fire.

3: Gift Wrap Ribbon

Opening presents and giving your pet a ribbon collar is fun, but make sure you watch your pet to make sure they don’t ingest it and cause the ribbon to become lodged in their intestines, or tighten the ribbon causing them to choke.

4: Food Hazards

Aww the holidays where we mainly gather to eat! This means lots of food falling on the ground for pets to get! Some of the most popular holiday food items are the most toxic to your pets like chocolate, bones and nuts! The darker the chocolate the more toxic it is to your pet. Watch for vomiting, diarrhea and tremors. Fat trimmings and bones both cooked and uncooked can cause pancreatitis. Bones can also splinter and get lodged in the throat. Nuts including macadamia, walnuts, and pistachios can be toxic to your pet and cause lethargic behavior. Make sure you keep your pets on their regular diets and caution visitors against giving your pet special treats or table scraps!

5: Toxic Holiday Plants

Plants are always pretty to have in the house, but some holiday plants are poisonous, even deadly. Some to beware of are pine needles from your tree, holly, mistletoe, and poinsettia. These plants can cause vomiting, difficulty breathing, weakness and collapse.

And now a few winter tips to be aware of:

-Beware of cats sheltering under cars or hoods. They seek out warmth in the cold nights, and often choose this place to stay warm. Give a good bang on your hood to make sure to scare those kitties out of there.

ANTIFREEZE IS DEADLY! Its thick, very sweet, and irresistible to some pets. If you suspect your pet has ingested or gotten into antifreeze, call your vet immediately and take them in. 

-Wear reflective clothing when going walking at night. It gets darker earlier in the winter, and it is best to put reflective wear on your dog and yourself so your visible in the darkness. 

-Rock salt that people put on their driveways and sidewalks can be irritating and harmful to your pets paws, make sure you use a pet friendly salt on your property, and avoid having your pet walk through other peoples salt on their walkways. 

-Speak up if you see a pet left out in the cold. If you’re concerned, politely let the owner know your concerned. If they don’t respond well, you can contact animal control, but make sure to document the animal and its conditions.

We hope you and your furry family has a safe, happy, and healthy Holiday Season! 

Straight from the dogs mouth with lots of love, Sequoia (and my new brother Timber)