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Winter Safety Infographic

Tis the season for holiday festivities! But among all the hustle and bustle of putting up decorations, shopping and family gatherings, pet parents must not forget about the dangers of the holiday season for pets.

While decking the halls, traditional plants may be brought in to help with the festive mood including poinsettias, mistletoe and holly. But beware that these plants can also cause problems in pets if digested, including vomiting, diarrhea and heart arrhythmia. Small decorations can be another danger, not only can they be a choking hazard but if they are accidentally knocked off a table, pets can get the pieces stuck in their paws if the decoration breaks. As always with the holidays, yummy food is abundant on tables and candy dishes, but if pets decide to follow their noses, they are in danger of becoming ill if they get into foods including macadamia nuts, garlic, onions, raisins and chocolate.

In particular parts of the country, it just doesn’t feel like the holidays if there isn’t snow on the ground, but cold weather can be hazardous for pets, too. Think of all the things that are kept in a garage to help people with the cold, such as antifreeze and ice melting products. If a pet gets into those, it could mean anything from minor bumps, burns or emergency vet visits, depending on what the pet got into and how much they digested. Besides the dangers in the garage, there is the weather itself to think about. For pets that can grow longer hair, pet parents might want to keep it that way for the winter months so their pet can stay warm. If a pet doesn’t have that advantage, many popular pet stores sell pet sweaters to help keep pets warm.

For another grooming tip, keep dogs fur between their paws short so that ice and snow doesn’t build up and rinse their paws before letting them back into the warmth of the house. While on a walk, keep pets on a leash so that they stay close and won’t get lost, up-to-date contact on their tags will help them get home to their worried families if something happens. Cats, especially cats who love roaming the outdoors, should be kept inside to keep them safe from the falling temperatures. Creating a nice, warm space away from cold drafts will give a pet a favorite new nap spot.

The best thing a pet parent can be is prepared. If the weather outside is frightful, pet parents should have in stock a week’s worth of food, medication and water for their pet and keep up-to-date on the weather for any sudden changes. Like the summer months, the temperature in a car can greatly affect a pet so it’s best to leave a pet in the safety of their own home.

By taking steps to ensure that pets are safe, pet parents can then spoil them all they want for the holiday season!

Download the NAPPS Winter Safety Infographic today!