While the holiday season is a time of celebration with friends and family, including our furry friends, cold weather, decorations and parties can create safety hazards for your pets.  Here are some simple tips that will ensure that your holidays stay festive and your pets stay safe.

Cold weather hazards:

De-icing products, salt and ice can get into your pets fur/hair and paws causing skin irritations and possible more serious conditions.  Thoroughly wipe your pet’s paws and tummy when he comes in from the cold.

Not everyone thinks that a pet needs to be dressed up in clothes. However, in the cold of winter, our pets don’t always have enough insulation from the cold.  Cover the pads of the paws with booties or socks.  Provide them with a sweater or jacket when it’s cold and/or rainy.  Dry them off when you bring them in from the weather.  A good belly rub always feels good anyway.

Holiday decorations:

Ingestion of glass,metal, ribbons or tinsel can lead to serious medical emergencies.  Snow globes and artificial snow contain chemicals that can be harmful if ingested or inhaled.  Ivy, holly, mistletoe, poinsettia, lilies and holiday greens can be toxic if ingested. Keep your pets away from that Christmas tree water as well.

Party time:

Everyone loves a party but sometimes the hustle and bustle can frighten your little guys and cause them to take off as soon as that door opens for your guests.  Designate a quiet, secure “pet room” away from the crowd and be sure that your pet is microchipped or wearing a collar with current ID tags.

No table scraps:

Resist the urge to give your pets scraps from the table. Fatty holiday meats can cause a number of gastrintestinal problems while bones can cause bowel obstructions or choking.  Most important – No chocolate.  The sweet stuff contains a chemical that is highly toxic to pets.