RACINE, WI (CBS 58) — The holidays are a busy time when our normally routine schedules become a whole lot more chaotic. We can sometimes forget that this time of year affects our furry friends, too. We just want to remind viewers of some important tips to keep their pets safe this holiday season:
There are a lot of new and exciting things in the home – ornaments, tinsel, lights, a whole tree – that can steal the attention of our curious pets. Make sure you monitor your pet around decorations and try to keep those tempting items out of reach. They can be dangerous if ingested or could cause cuts and scrapes to noses and paws.
You also want to be careful with the wrapping paper, ribbons, and bows! These can look like fun toys for pets… but could potentially lead to a stomach blockage and a trip to the emergency vet if swallowed. While wrapping, and after opening presents, make sure to throw out your giftwrap where pets can’t get to it.
Some holiday plants can make pets sick, so make sure your fur friends don’t nibble on plants like holly, mistletoe, poinsettias, and real holiday trees. Ingestion of any of these plants can cause symptoms from drooling and upset stomach, to low blood pressure and abnormal heart rate. If you think your animal has eaten a holiday plant, contact your vet immediately for the next steps.
Limit treating your pet to holiday “people” foods. Many fatty foods, table scraps, and sweet desserts can cause upset tummies, vomiting, or diarrhea for your pet. If you can’t resist sharing, go for something plain like turkey with no skin, mashed potatoes, or steamed vegetables. Never give your pets a bone from your meat! They can split and splinter causing damage to the intestines. After dinner, make sure to tie up your garbage and take it out where pets won’t be tempted to scavenge.
Animals can get overwhelmed by all the fun and festivities in their space. If you notice your pet feeling anxious, provide them with a quiet room to decompress. On the flipside, if your pet tends to get over-excited with all the activity, you always want to be sure their ID tags and microchip information are up to date in case they run off.
It gets incredibly cold during our Wisconsin winters, and that kind of weather can be truly dangerous for pets. When the temperature drops below freezing, keep time outside short – just long enough for a potty break. You may want to avoid walks all together. Never leave your animal in the car – a vehicle can quickly become a refrigerator in low temperatures. Watch for signs of frostbite including pale or gray skin, or pain and swelling. If you suspect your pet has frostbite, slowly warm them up and call your vet right away.
You can find more information and holiday safety tips on our website, wihumane.org.