How to Keep Dogs and Cats Safe This Holiday Season

Nothing keeps a dog or cat vet in Cannon Falls, MN busy like the holiday season. While taking care of your pets is fulfilling for us, it is frequently terrifying or dangerous for your pets. Fortunately, you can take small steps to make the season safe (and perhaps even fun) for them as well. Here are six tips for keeping your dogs and cats safe this holiday:

  • Keep them inside: Unless you have a dog breed that is genetically acclimated to cold weather, keep your pets inside. Cats especially face dangers from cold water and predators in winter, so it’s best to fill your home with toys and cat trees and give them an engaging indoor environment. Allow dogs outside for potty breaks and walks, but if you notice them shivering, buy them a dog coat. Pets can develop frostbite and hypothermia if you do not monitor their reactions to cold and keep them inside.
  • Avoid table scraps: Holiday feasts offer temptation, but sharing your food poses more dangers than treats. Bones splinter and can rupture stomachs. Chocolate and any candy containing xylitol are death sentences for cats, dogs and ferrets. Citrus and pits cause nervous system issues, and you never want to feed leaves, stems, nuts, onions, salt, eggs or coffee to pets. Buy tasty and nutritious treats and make those your pet’s holiday feast.
  • Hide trash: Besides poisonous foods, holiday trash often contains tinsel, wrapping paper, ribbons and other items that can wrap around your pet’s intestines. If you do not own a locking trash can, now is an excellent time to buy one. At the very least, place trash cans where pets cannot reach them.
  • Guard your Christmas tree: There is an endless supply of hilarious YouTube videos showing cats destroying Christmas trees. However, trees present hazards that may not occur to you. Ingested pine needles can puncture stomachs and intestinal tracts. Water additives are frequently toxic to pets. Lights may electrocute them, and tinsel is altogether dangerous. You can prevent injuries by placing a chicken wire fence at the base of your tree to keep animals away from the water and lower branches. Move tinsel and lights up and decorate the low branches with cat toys. If the tree drops pine needles, sweep or vacuum them immediately.
  • Avoid seasonal plants: They may be pretty, but they have no place in a home with pets. If you decorate your home with ivy, holly, mistletoe and poinsettias, know that these plants can be fatal to cats and dogs. Avoid seasonal plants and embrace their synthetic counterparts. They will be available to you every holiday season, and you do not have to worry about them poisoning your pets.
  • Secure fire starter logs: If you use fire starter logs and your dog likes to chew, do not allow your dog to find them! These logs contain paraffin and sawdust, which can irritate stomachs and block intestines. Store the logs in their box or keep them in a closet away from your pets.

Cannon Veterinary Services Ltd. is your local cat and dog vet in Cannon Falls, MN. Call us today to schedule a care appointment and keep your pets healthy this winter.