It seems to happen sooner and sooner every year, and it’s happened again. The flurry of the winter holidays is upon us again. For many people, this will be their first holiday season with a new pet, or with any pet, which means they may be wondering how to keep their pet healthy this holiday season.
There is a lot to think about, and in many cases, the winter holidays can be much more dangerous than summer holidays, since just being outside in the elements can lead to permanent injury. That’s why we’ve put this guide together for you, so bundle up and grab a cup of cocoa or cider, and learn about ways to keep your pet healthy this holiday season.
Get Pet Insurance
One of the most effective ways of keeping your pet healthy in any season is to have them covered by one of the Best pet insurance providers. Not only can this help keep your pet healthy by reducing or even eliminating the cost of routine medical care like checkups and wellness checks, but it can also make it convenient to get treatment when you may not be able to afford the expense of the needed treatment.
Most pets can be covered, regardless of age, breed, or medical history, and in many cases, they can be covered for relatively low monthly premiums. You can also choose to get emergency coverage as well, to help mitigate the cost of treatment for any unforeseen accident.
Don’t Share Holiday Food Or Treats
One of the most common ways for pets to become injured or sick during the holidays is by getting into human holiday treats that are unsafe. This can mean anything from meat or poultry bones from holiday meals to human treats like candy, and even decorative non-food items.
Bones can present a very dangerous threat to many pets since they can become lodged in the airway and cause choking, but they can also splinter causing punctures in the mouth, throat, or even intestines. Human candy, particularly chocolate, is very dangerous for pets and can even pose a risk of poisoning. This is incredibly dangerous and can lead to massive emergency veterinary bills.
Other decorative items like holly and mistletoe and especially lilies, can be deadly for pets even though they are not edible. Even pollen from some lilies can be fatal for cats. Other decor like tinsel and garland may also be eaten by pets and present an intestinal obstruction danger.
Keep A Close Watch During Walks
Since winter means snow, and snow doesn’t wash anything away, another way pets can jeopardize their health is the ingestion of dangerous chemicals or poisons. Chemicals like the sweet and potentially deadly antifreeze would normally be washed away in the rain, but with snow on the ground cats and dogs may be more likely to ingest it if seen on the ground.
Another danger while in populated areas is the danger of rodenticides and dead rodents. Cats and dogs that eat dead mice that have been poisoned have just ingested that poison as well and may face significant danger if they do not receive medical attention.
Watch For Signs Of Hypothermia While Playing
If you and your pet are outside enjoying the weather, you should still be on the lookout for signs of danger. Shivering, lethargy, stiffness in the muscles, gray or pale coloring in the gums, reduction in balance or coordination, slow pulse, decreased breathing, and dilated pupils are all signs of hypothermia.
Have A Safe Space Available
The holidays can get a little rowdy sometimes, particularly with big families that have lots of kids running around. Part of a pet’s healthy response to stressors like this is to retreat to their den or safe space. This can be a kennel with a blanket over it so they have a quiet dark place, or it can even be an entire room that you keep set aside for them. Either way, it will help your pets make it through the holidays with less stress than otherwise.
Keeping Your Pet Healthy This Holiday Season
Looking at our list, you might think that there is a lot to keep in mind when trying to keep your pet safe this holiday season, but most of it is common sense. There are special things that happen around and during the holidays, and many of them don’t involve our pets directly, so they are not pet safe. However, you know your pet best so combine that with our guide, and you and your pet will be ready for a joyous holiday season.