NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – The Tennessee Veterinary Medical Association has the following warnings for fur parents as we get ready for the holiday season.
- Holidays equal food! From Halloween to New Year’s Eve, there is an increased danger of pets being accidentally poisoned. Chocolate and artificial sweeteners like Xylitol are toxic to dogs. Be sure that children and guests don’t feed your pets any human treats – and be sure to keep candy out of reach of inquiring noses.
- Holiday meal leftovers are rich and can cause digestive upset: Don’t feed your pet table scraps.
- Tinsel, streamers, snow globe ‘filler,’ and other Holiday decorations can be hazardous to cats and dogs. Be sure to monitor your pets around your festive décor.
- Adjust your outdoor activities according to the weather. Depending on your pet’s coat, weight, and health, he or she may have less tolerance for cold than you do. A preventive wellness check-up can help keep your pets comfortable by treating underlying health issues.
- Do a paw check after outdoor activities. Remove ice balls, watch pads for signs of cracking, and wipe down your dog’s feet to remove de-icers, antifreeze, and other potential toxins.
- If you have outdoor pets – even neighborhood cats – be sure to provide a clean, dry, insulated shelter off the ground with a door facing away from prevailing winds.
- Be prepared for bad weather with a stocked emergency kit that includes your pet’s food and medications.
- Recognize problems. In dogs, signs of hypothermia include whining, shivering, anxiety, weakness, and seeking out warm places to burrow. If you think your dog is developing hypothermia, take them indoors and call your veterinarian.
If you have any concerns about your pet’s health, they urge you to call your veterinarian immediately. You can find a list of vets near you here.