December 25, 2015 - 2:30 PM
THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - As the mercury drops and the holidays get closer, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to keeping your pets safe.
“Bring animals in from the cold,” is some simple advice from Corinne Ross, branch manager for the Penticton SPCA. “It depends on the dog, as to how much cold they can experience, but every dog outside should have access to shelter, portable water — to keep it from freezing — and a dry place.”
Ross recommends using straw for bedding rather than blankets, as blankets tend to get damp.
“For 100 reasons, cats do better inside in the winter,” Ross said, noting such hazards as salt (not good for paws), anti-freeze (deadly if ingested) and cat’s propensity for climbing into recesses around warm vehicle engines.
Cats who have not been spayed or neutered also have more opportunity to breed when left outside, said Ross.
As Christmas approaches, the B.C. SPCA also cautions pet owners to be careful when decorating and leaving Christmas treats around the house.
"Keep tinsel away from your pets,” Ross said. “And most people are aware that chocolate isn’t good for dogs."
A chemical found in chocolate and other sweets, while safe for humans, can be deadly to pets. Tinsel can cause blockages and broken decorations can cause injuries, as can light cords that are an attractive chew toy for puppies and kittens.
You should also keep bones away from your dogs and cats, especially poultry bones, which can easily splinter and cause serious internal injuries.
Holiday plants such as holly, mistletoe, ornamental peppers and Christmas rose are poisonous to animals. Though widely thought to be, poinsettias are not actually dangerous, though some animals may be sensitive to the latex contained in the plant, which may cause digestive issues, the SPCA notes.
If you are buying toys for your pets watch for small or soft pieces that can be easily chewed or swallowed. The SPCA also notes nylon bones tend to be safer than plastic ones because they splinter less.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015