Advice for the Cold Winter Months and the Holiday Season
Winter and the busy holiday season can pose special risks for pets. Help your pet to weather the winter and stay healthy and safe by following these simple tips:
- Keep indoor pets in a dry, warm area free of drafts. If possible,
elevate your pet's bed off the floor.
- Provide outdoor dogs or cats with a dry, insulated pet house
or shelter out of the wind. Bring your pet inside if the
wind chill or other weather conditions become severe.
- Staying warm requires extra calories, so feed your pet accordingly
when the temperature drops. Talk to your veterinarian for
advice on feeding your pet.
- Cats and kittens often nap on car engines for warmth. Knock
on the hood and honk the horn; then wait a few minutes before starting
- Pets like the smell and taste of antifreeze, but even a very
small amount can kill them. Thoroughly clean up spills at
once. Tightly close containers and store them where pets cannot get
- Always have fresh, clean water available for your pet.
- Alcoholic beverages, holiday treats such as chocolates, and
bones from poultry, pork and fish can be harmful or toxic to pets. Keep
your pet on his regular diet.
- Many plants-including Christmas rose, holly, mistletoe, philodendron,
and dieffenbachia are toxic to pets. Keep them out of your
- Remove ice, salt and caked mud from your pet's paws and coat
at once. Contact your veterinarian immediately if you suspect
your pet has frostbite. Frostbitten skin may turn reddish, white or
gray, and it may be scaly or sloughing.
- Holiday paraphernalia can be dangerous to pets. Cover or tack
down electrical cords. Keep tinsel and glass ornaments out
of your pet's reach. Read warnings on items like spray-on snow. Never
put ribbons around your pet's neck or allow it to play with plastic
or foil wrappings or six-pack beverage holders.
Courtesy of Ralston Purina Company.