Winter Pet Safety Tips

Winter Pet Safety Tips

How to Avoid Winter Dangers for your Pet

            As we head into winter, and the coldest season of the year, there are many things that your pet may come into contact with that are dangerous. Anything from table scraps to anti-freeze can cause serious medical issues, and need to be avoided. Check out this list of common winter dangers, so that you can keep your pet safe this season.

Table Scraps-Many of us will have family in town this time of year, and may throw Holiday parties as well. These are both opportunities for our pets to get fed people food or leftovers. Even though your pet will love you for giving them these yummy foods, these foods could make them very sick. Your pet could have anything from vomiting and diarrhea to pancreatitis, which is a serious condition that requires hospitalization. You may need to keep your pet crated, or in a separate room from your guests, if you are afraid food may be dropped on the floor or given to them by accident.
Cold Weather-Make sure that your pet is kept inside where it is warm on the colder winter days. Hypothermia is a serious condition that can be caused by your pet being out in the cold too long. It can cause heart issues, difficulty breathing, and if left untreated, death. If you suspect a pet is being neglected and not given sufficient shelter during the winter, contact your local police or animal control. This is a serious concern, and considered neglect.
Antifreeze- Antifreeze is used to winterize pipes, so it may be found in toilets. It is also used in the radiator of a car, so it may drip into a garage or onto a driveway. Antifreeze has a sweet taste, so it is very enticing to pets. The toxic component of antifreeze is called ethylene glycol, and if ingested can cause weakness, rapid heartbeat, and seizures, among other life-threatening symptoms. Make sure to keep antifreeze out of reach of pets, and make sure you keep an eye on them while they are outside to make sure they aren’t licking anything they shouldn’t be.
Winter and Holiday plants- Plants such as poinsettias, holly, mistletoe, lilies, daffodils, amaryllis, Christmas cactus, and Christmas trees can all cause serious issues for your pets. They may cause anything from vomiting or diarrhea to an intestinal obstruction, or in very serious cases, seizures and death. If you are unsure if a plant is safe for your pets to be around, contact your veterinarian to get more information.

            The winter is a busy time of year, so it is important to pay attention to your pets and make sure they are kept out of harm’s way. If you think your pet has gotten into something they shouldn’t have, make sure to contact a veterinarian immediately. Stay safe, warm, and snuggled up with your loved ones this winter season!

-Emily Steelman