Keeping your pet safe this holiday season

We know how to keep ourselves safe from the cold winter weather but what can we do about our furry four-legged friends?

Here are some tips from a person who deals with the safety of animals on a daily basis.

"Animals should not be left unattended in the snow or cold," said Jodi Lytle Buckman, executive director for the Capital Area Humane Society. "You have to monitor their activity and check on them every 10 minutes or so."

She added that when the cold is getting to your pet, they will let you know with a classic "putting a paw up" stance, but ultimately is depends on the breed of your dog and their coat.

"Greyhounds can hardly stand to be outside in this weather, but Nordic breeds, such as Huskies, are perfectly happy on a cold day outside," Buckman said, "but with any size or breed, you still have to be careful."

There are other dangers lurking on the ground when your pet travels, such as salt and anti-freeze that must be wiped off after going for a walk so that they cannot ingest those chemicals while licking their paws off.

"The local pet supply stores sell booties that will protect them from the cold ground and salt," she said.

Buckman also reminds pet owners that with the excess food that will be around this holiday season, it is important to keep them on a steady diet.

"It is nice to be able to give them a treat, but it is not a good habit to get into feeding them table scraps," she said. "It’s a busy, wonderful time, but if you give them something that makes them sick, it’s not such a good time."

It is not recommended to give your pet any turkey or ham bones to chew on. Turkey bones can be dangerous because poultry tends to shred, so talk to your veterinarian about what is safe for your pet to consume.

"The holidays add chaos to the household," said Buckman. "Your dogs could be chewing on chords and ornaments or sneaking food out of the trash can and all those can be very enticing. Just make sure to slow down and take a look at things to ensure the safety of your pets."

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