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Winter is a time of cold weather festivals, holiday parties, and changing weather. For pets and pet owners, this season can bring its own unique set of challenges and hazards. Keeping your pet safe during this time of year will require some preparation and homework.
Family gatherings and get-togethers can be a potential trial for pet owners. With so many strangers and so much food, many pets will take advantage of this situation to the fullest. Be sure to tell your party guests to avoid feeding the four-legged vacuum cleaner. Many of the traditional holiday foods can possibly be dangerous or even deadly to your pet. If your dog or cat will not behave, you may have to relegate them to their room for the duration of the festivity.
Holiday plants, such as mistletoe and holly, have been known to cause severe stomach upset to dogs and lilies of any sort are almost certainly deadly to cats. Artificial decorations pose their own threats. Glass ornaments can cut, electric cords can burn if chewed upon, and the traditional strands of tinsel often end up causing an obstruction in the belly of a cat.
Outside, the situation might actually worsen. A very common poisoning during the winter months is car antifreeze. Antifreeze has a very sweet taste and most dogs and cats will readily consume it. If you suspect your pet of drinking antifreeze, you must act immediately and contact your veterinarian or local animal emergency hospital.
The colder temperatures can be rough on older pets, especially those with arthritis. For pets who live outdoors, be sure to supply them with adequate shelter and a source of water that will not freeze over.
Pets and people can enjoy the beauty that winter has to offer, but it always pays to be prepared.