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 your car.
- 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 to them.
- 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 pet's reach.
- 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.