Racine & Me: Holiday Pet Safety Tips

Racine & Me: Holiday Pet Safety Tips

RACINE, WI (CBS 58) -- The holidays are a busy time when our typical routine schedules become a whole lot more chaotic. We can sometimes forget that this time of year affects our furry friends, too. We just want to remind viewers of some important tips to keep their pets safe this holiday season: · There are a lot of new and exciting things in the home – ornaments, tinsel, lights, a whole tree – that can steal the attention of our curious pets. Make sure you monitor your pet around decorations and try to keep those tempting items out of reach. They can be dangerous if ingested or could cause cuts and scrapes to noses and paws. · You also want to be careful with wrapping paper, ribbons, and bows! These can look like fun toys for pets… but could potentially lead to a stomach blockage and a trip to the emergency vet if swallowed. While wrapping, and after opening presents, make sure to throw out any gift wrap where pets can’t get to it. · Some holiday plants can make pets sick, so make sure your fur friends don’t nibble on plants like holly, mistletoe, poinsettias, and real holiday trees. Ingestion of any of these plants can cause symptoms from drooling and upset stomach, to low blood pressure and abnormal heart rate. If you think your animal has eaten a holiday plant, contact your vet immediately for the next steps. · Limit treating your pet to holiday “people” foods. Many fatty foods, table scraps, and sweet desserts can cause upset tummies, vomiting, or diarrhea for your pet. If you can’t resist sharing, go for something plain like turkey with no skin, mashed potatoes, or steamed vegetables. Never give your pets a bone from your meat! They can split and splinter causing damage to the intestines. After dinner, make sure to tie up your garbage and take it out where pets won’t be tempted to scavenge.

Animals can get overwhelmed by all the fun and festivities in their space. If you notice your pet feeling anxious, provide them with a quiet room to decompress. On the flipside, if your pet tends to get over-excited with all the activity, you always want to be sure their ID tags and microchip information are up to date in case they run off. · It gets incredibly cold during our Wisconsin winters, and that kind of weather can be truly dangerous for pets. When the temperature drops below freezing, keep time outside short – just long enough for a potty break. You may want to avoid walks all together. Watch for signs of frostbite including pale or gray skin, or pain and swelling. If you suspect your pet has frostbite, slowly warm them up and call your vet right away. Traveling with your pet It’s a busy season for so many people and a lot of the time that includes traveling. This can be a highly stressful situation, both for you and your pet, but there are a few things to keep in mind that will help ensure a safe and comfortable trip for everyone. · Before you go, make sure your pet’s microchip and ID tags have your current information and be sure they’re always wearing their collar. If they happen to run off or get lost somewhere along the way, this will be the best way to help get them back to you. Also, keep them on a leash at stops along the way to reduce the risk of separation. · While driving, keep your pets secure using either a well-ventilated carrier or a harness with a seat belt tether. If there’s an accident, this helps reduce their chances of being ejected from the vehicle. Carriers should be large enough for your pet to stand, sit, lie down, and turn around in, and secured inside your vehicle so they can't slide around. · Seat belt tethers are adjustable, shortened leashes with a clip on one end that fits into the seatbelt slot, while the other end clips to your pet. They allow your pet freedom, but act as a seatbelt during emergencies. · Never leave your animal alone in a parked vehicle. In cold weather, a car can act as a refrigerator, holding in the cold and causing the animal to freeze. · To give your pet a sense of comfort, pack their favorite toy or blanket with that familiar scent of home. Other items to bring along – food, bowl, leash, waste bags, and any medications they may need. When it comes to water, it’s probably best to bring your own. Pets could get an upset tummy drinking water from an area they aren’t used to. WHS Retail Stores In addition to the Animal Antics retail stores in each of our shelters, WHS also offers an online retail store. It’s a great place to shop for all of your pets’ needs including food and treats, toys, carriers and bedding, supplements and so much more. Many of the items in our store are similar to, or lower in cost, than items you already buy for your pets. We carry products for dogs, cats, and small animals, as well as WHS merch for humans.

The online retail store is a great place to shop for holiday gifts! The Wisconsin Humane Society 2024 calendar is something anyone can use. It’s filled with hundreds of adorable photos of pets from all over Wisconsin. You can also get tons of great WHS apparel for everyone in the family, including some with our special holiday designs. The best part about holiday shopping with WHS – every purchase directly benefits the animals being cared for at all our shelters. You can check out the online store by going to wihumane.org and clicking the tab that says “Shop.

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