Tips To Keep Your Pet Safe This Winter

Tips to Keep Your Pet Safe This WinterHow much trouble can your pet get into during the winter? While your dog or cat may be spending more time inside and around you, accidents can still happen. Chilly seasonal temperatures in Joplin can affect your pet, especially smaller animals or those that spend a lot of time outside.

Meanwhile, a bored dog or cat can chew on houseplants, decorations, and seasonal foods that are not healthy to be consumed.

Here are some signs that your pet may need to visit Cornerstone Animal Hospital:

Tips To Avoid Hypothermia in Winter

Many dogs love playing in the snow. Adventurous long-haired cats don’t even seem to feel the temperatures. However, these animals can catch hypothermia just like humans. Keep an eye out for these signs in your pets.

Signs of Hypothermia in Pets:

  • shivering
  • unusual fatigue
  • disorientation
  • stumbling as they walk
  • extremely cold ears or paws
  • ragged breathing
  • avoiding you (more common for cats)

What to Do?

  • Take your pet into a warm room.
  • Don’t put anything too hot on them.
  • Wrap your pet loosely in a blanket.
  • Call our Doctors for advice.

Holiday Food

Did you know that some of the foods humans enjoy are toxic to pets? Even when you have the best of intentions, it can be easy for a wily cat or dog to sneak a bite of something that isn’t good for them.

Common Danger Foods:

  • chocolate
  • raisins and grapes
  • onions and garlic
  • macadamia nuts
  • cherries
  • fruit with pits like plums or peaches
  • meat with small bones like fish or chicken

Symptoms of Food Poisoning:

  • coughing and choking
  • vomiting
  • strange-looking stool
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • loss of appetite
  • difficulty urinating

What to Do?

  • Try to figure out what your pet may have eaten.
  • Offer bland food and plenty of water.
  • Call our Doctors for advice.

Holiday Decorations

From cheerful plants to bright light displays, your holiday decorations are eye catching, but potentially hazardous. Does your dog have a bad habit of chewing on light power cords? Is your cat eyeing that crimson-leafed poinsettia? This may spell trouble.

Dangerous Holiday Decorations:

  • poinsettias
  • holly and ivy
  • mistletoe
  • tree tinsel
  • fairy lights
  • delicate glass decorations
  • silica gel from holiday gift packages
  • packing peanuts
  • needles shed from the Christmas tree
  • candles or crackling fireplaces

Symptoms of Exposure to Dangerous Holiday Decorations:

  • upset stomach with vomiting and diarrhea
  • heavy drooling
  • watering eyes
  • coughing
  • bleeding scratches from broken decorations
  • singed fur and burns from fire sources

What to Do?

Start with a dose of prevention:

  • Teach animals not to chew on electrical cords, or keep cords bundled safely out of the way.
  • Place toxic houseplants in high, hard-to-reach places. Train your cat not to climb up there.
  • Check Christmas decorations carefully; older tree tinsel may have lead and older glass ornaments may be very fragile.
  • Consider replacing glass decorations with more durable plastic versions.
  • Don’t tempt your pet to misbehave by stringing edible popcorn chains up.
  • When opening gifts, immediately throw away the wrapping materials and packing peanuts. Also, check that silica gel packets haven’t fallen out.

However, sometimes prevention isn’t enough. If your animal’s hurt or has eaten something they shouldn’t, call our Doctors immediately for advice. Stay safe and happy holidays from all of us at Cornerstone Animal Hospital!

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