Pet Care Tips
TIP - - KEEP YOUR PET INDOORS!
It is best to keep pets indoors during the winter months, but if this is not
possible, outdoor pets must be provided with shelter. Their home should
be elevated off the ground to prevent moisture accumulation and have a
door of some kind to keep out winter winds, sleet, and snow. Shelters should
be insulated or heated. Water sources may be heated to permit constant
access to unfrozen water; thermal units designed specifically for this
purpose are readily available. Outdoor pets require extra calories to keep
warm. Feed your pet according to its needs when the temperature drops.
In severely cold or inclement weather, no pet should be kept outside. Indoor
pets should have sleeping quarters in a draft-free, warm area with their
bed or mattress elevated slightly off the floor.
Roaming cats, as well as house pets and wildlife, may climb onto vehicle engines
for warmth during cold weather. Be sure to check under the hood before starting
your vehicle and honk the horn to startle any animals seeking shelter inside.
and snow removal salt:
Snow and salt should be removed from your pets paws immediately. Frostbitten
skin is red or gray and may slough. Apply warm, moist towels to thaw out frostbitten
areas slowly until the skin appears flushed. Contact your veterinarian as soon
as possible for further care. Snow removal products should be stored out of
the reach of pets and small children as their toxicity varies considerably.
plants and holiday/winter products:
Plants and other items associated with the winter and holiday season can be
toxic to your pets. What follows is a general guide. Please consult your veterinarian,
animal poison control, and the manufacturer for specifics. Remember, the earlier
you seek treatment, the better for your pet!
toxicity -- poinsettia leaves/stems;
balsam/pine/cedar/fir; angel hair (spun glass);
Christmas tree preservatives; snow sprays/snow
flock; tree ornaments; super glue; styrofoam; icicles
(tinsel); and crayons/paints.
toxicity -- fireplace colors/salts;
plastic model cement Moderate to high toxicity
holly berries and leaves; bubbling lights (methylene
chloride); snow scenes (may contain salmonella);
aftershaves/perfumes/alcoholic beverages; and chocolate
(dark is more toxic than milk).
toxic -- mistletoe (especially berries);
expoxy adhesives; and antifreeze. Please note that
some items have special problems. For example,
whereas angel hair is usually considered to be
of low toxicity, it can irritate eyes, skin, and
the gastrointestinal tract; the content of Christmas
tree preservatives varies and often effects depend
upon the amount ingested; styrofoam, small parts
from Christmas tree ornaments and toys, as well
as tinsel, can cause mechanical obstructions in
the gastrointestinal tract; snow flock can cause
problems if sprayed into the mouth and inhaled;
and chocolate, of any type, should never be given
to a pet. Antifreeze deserves special mention because
even a very small amount can be rapidly fatal to
If you plan to take your pet with you during holiday visits, make sure that
your pet is welcome first (with all the activity, it may be better to board
your pet or hire a pet sitter). Holiday treats, such as rich, fatty food scraps,
bones from fish, pork, and poultry, alcoholic beverages, and chocolate, can
be harmful or toxic to pets. Do not allow friends and relatives to give your
pet special treats it could ruin everyone's holiday (including your veterinarian's).
Do not allow pets to play with ribbons, yarn, or six-pack beverage holders
and don't put ribbons or yarn around your pet's neck. If you want to decorate
your pet, invest in a holiday collar. These last for many years, are more attractive,
and are a lot safer! Cover or tack down electrical cords.