Fall has arrived, and that means colder, wintry weather – and the holidays – are just around the corner. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has issued several tips to keep dogs safe as temperatures begin to drop and as holiday baking and decorating abound.
Keep dogs warm and dry. Pets should have a warm place to sleep that’s off the floor and away from drafts. Wipe dogs’ legs and stomach when they come inside from the snow, sleet or ice. Don’t leave dogs alone in parked cars, as temperatures can fall quickly in a short period of time.
Clean up after yourself. Coolant and antifreeze are toxic to dogs. Pet owners should thoroughly clean up any vehicle spills and be aware of melting ice that may be contaminated with toxic chemicals.
Keep pets close. Dogs should be kept on a leash during inclement weather as they can more easily become lost; make sure dogs’ identification tags are up-to-date.
Keep pets on their regular diets. As the season filled with treats and goodies approaches, pets should remain on their normal diets. Changes can affect their digestive system causing indigestion and diarrhea.
Keep alcoholic beverages out of pets’ reach. If dogs accidentally ingest alcohol, they can become sick and weak.
Consider dogs when decorating for holidays. Lilies, mistletoe and holiday berries can be toxic for pets. And decorations such as ribbons and tinsel can cause intestinal obstruction if swallowed.
If a dog has accidentally ingested a harmful substance, contact a veterinarian immediately.