December Pet Care Do’s and Dont’s

In a new series for ADinLOS, we are featuring monthly pet care do’s and dont’s . As we approach the winter months and the temperature drops it is a good time to develop some good habits. Without further ado:

DO
Walk dogs in parks. Usually, heavily trafficked streets have high salt concentration and other chemicals which can be tough on your dogs paws. People tend to exaggerate about salt burning paws, but it can be a major irritant, or even worse if ingested. Also, most parks have higher tree lines which will cut down on the amount of wind you and your pet experience.

DON’T
Assume that because your pets have ‘fur’ coats they are naturally immune to cold temperatures. The reality is, smaller bodies usually have weaker immune systems and are therefore more susceptible to the cold. A lot of people think animals look ridiculous dressed up, but imagine if you had to walk around naked all year. To some people it might be nice in the summer, but I don’t know anyone who would be okay in the winter. Your local pet shop should have a decent selection of gimmicky articles of clothing, but clothes may be easier to make with your own articles of clothing and a few stitches.

DO
Build adequate shelter for outdoor pets. Typically ADinLOS frowns on outdoor pets, but we’ll admit that we have a few. What can we say, kittens and injured animals just seem to find us. Outdoor pets do not get used to the cold. Stay outside for a day or two in December without a coat. Did you get used to it? Didn’t think so. Make sure the shelter is at least twice as large as your pet. Keep the enclosure elevated in a sunny area away from wind. When building the inside, prepare an area towards the back with straw for warmth, not towels or hay which absorb moisture and can mold.

DON’T
Neglect ears and paws. A large portion of heat is lost through these areas of the body. If attention isn’t paid here, you may be fighting a losing battle. This means booties and hoods.

DO
Keep temperatures consistent when we leave the house for an extended period of time. Energy is expensive, but it’s nothing compared to the importance of our pets health.

DON’T
Ignore the water temperature of our aquariums. Goldfish tend to be hearty, but when they get used to a what we consider room temperature, low temperature is a huge shock and needs to be addressed.

DO
Pay extra attention to travel demands. Travel is stressful on everyone, but it is especially stressful on our pets. Be cautious and take a trip to the vet to ensure pets are healthy, and all medications and vaccinations are current. Depending on the method of travel, familiarize them with their temporary housing. Keep comfortable blankets, dishes, and toys. The day of, feed them hours before travel to avoid upset stomachs. All will help reduce the amount of stress and stride for happy travel.

DON’T
Assume pets diets remain unchanged. Ensure pets are hydrated and nourished. Pets burn more energy in extreme temperatures and will need extra attention in the winter months. The winter months tend to hide perspiration better and encourages dehydration and lethargy quickly.

DO
Avoid certain classic holiday decorations. Most of us have heard that Poinsettias are poisonous to eat, and though this is largely exaggerated, mistletoe is the real danger. Poinsettieas need to be injested in large quantities to be harmful, but mistletoes symptoms can be mild to moderate depending on the variety. The European variety usually has more toxins than the American variety, but it is always wise to do your homework.

DON’T
Forget to kitty-proof your Christmas Tree. This means tying it down. Aside from falling and breaking all of your precious ornaments, it can break your precious kitten as well. We tend to assume that cats have 9 lives and always land on their feet. Unfortunately, this is not always the truth. Extensive research has been done on a phenomenom known as ‘High Rise Syndrome’. Below three feet, cats do not have the ability to ‘right’ themselves and will not always land on their feet. Three feet doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you think that every cat is different, these 3 feet can be increased to 2 stories. Be careful and don’t assume your cat can ‘right’ itself. So please, tie up your tree.

Comments are always encouraged. Do you have any additional tips or advice? Concerns about an item on our list? A lot of pet care can seem like common sense, but we find that we are always learning and even the simplest of ideas can open our mind.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *