With the temperatures dropping and the holidays arriving, you want your furry friend to stay safe. Here are a few precautions to take when including your pet in outdoor and indoor winter activities:

1) Cold Weather Precautions

· Be mindful of what breed you are dealing with as some will need more care and protection from the elements while others (Huskies, St. Bernards, etc.) will want to spend hours outside in the snow. Talk to your vet to find out if there are specific types of needs for your pet.

· The salt used to prepare roads and sidewalks before a storm can be harmful to your pets’ paws. Massaging petroleum jelly or a similar paw protectant on their paw pads before going on a snowy walk will help protect them from harm. Be sure to wipe off their paws and in between their toes after the walk as well.

· Rock salt also contains chemicals, which if ingested, can damage your pet’s kidneys resulting in vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. Do your best to help your pet avoid patches of salt and be aware of the symptoms just in case. If you purchase your own rock salt, be sure to look out for the pet friendly brands.

· Be wary (depending on breed) of how long your pets stays outside in cold conditions including walks, waiting in a car, or playing outside in a fenced yard. If it’s a challenge for you to be outside for a few minutes, it probably is for your dog too.

2) Holiday Decoration Considerations

· Be mindful of candle and space heater placements, as pets can easily knock these over with the swish of their tail. Artificial candles are an option if you want to avoid the risk.

· Be aware that popular holiday plants can have harmful effects for your pet if ingested. These plants include: mistletoe (can cause major drop in blood pressure), Holly berries (can cause diarrhea and convulsions), and Poinsettias (can cause nausea and vomiting). Safe alternative plant options include: red roses, white orchids, and Christmas cacti.

· While a live Christmas tree looks and smells more festive, consider purchasing an artificial tree. Live Christmas trees have sharp pine needles that can puncture their skin, and if ingested by your pet, can cause serious harm.

· When purchasing an artificial tree, try to look for traditional tree’s without any type of tinsel or glitter. When ingested, they can prove to be harmful to your pets.

· Think about how you arrange your Christmas ornaments in your household, refrain from choosing traditional glass ornaments when possible, or simply use these ones to decorate the higher portions of your tree. If they break, not only will it harm your furry friend’s paws, but if accidentally ingested can cause serious injury.

· Safer options include, shatter proof, silk, or cloth ornaments. Not only are all of these options beautiful, they also last longer and won’t be damaged if your pet knocks them over.

In the end, you and your vet know your pet best and can choose which of these considerations make sense for you and your pet(s). Happy Holidays from the Montrose Team!

Thank you for taking the time to read our blog post! Mention this article to our front desk staff this month and get $5 off your next Montrose Pet Hotel stay or grooming/bathing appointment.