Holiday Tips to Keep Your Pets Safe

WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS - Happy Howlidays! As you gear up for all the hustle and bustle of the holiday festivities, make sure your furry companion is included in a safe way.

Keep your pets routine, diet, and exercise as normal as possible to reduce the chance of stress, gastric or injury related issues.

OH, CHRISTMAS TREE - If your pet is apt to climb or chew, make sure your tree is secure or barricaded. Fir tree oils can cause excessive drooling, nausea, vomiting and gastric upset. Pine needles are sharp and can cause irritation or puncture the mouth, esophagus, stomach, and intestinal lining. Ornaments, ribbon, and tinsel can be a source of injury, choking, strangulation & poisoning. Stagnant tree water is a source for bacteria growth and tree water additives can be toxic. Electrical cords can cause small to severe shock and internal organ damage if chewed on.

DECK THE HALLS WITH BOUGHS OF HOLLY, mistletoe, poinsettias, lilies, and other decorative plants can make pets sick or even be toxic enough to prove fatal. The entire lily plant, and even the water it is in, is toxic to our feline friends! Cats can develop severe kidney failure in less than 3 days from eating or licking any part of the plant  Scented candles, potpourri and scented pinecones are other items to be aware of. If it smells good, it tastes good according to dogs! Make sure you check to see if any plants in your pets environment are a possible toxin - BEFORE THEY HAVE BEEN INGESTED!

CHESTNUTS ROASTING ON AN OPEN FIRE - Certain popular holiday foods can be toxic, cause vomiting, diarrhea, death, or severe pancreatitis (a potential life-threatening inflammation of the pancreas) in pets. Sometimes it's the amount eaten and other times it is what is eaten. Know what foods not to share with your pet. Grapes, raisins, currants, chocolate, onions, garlic, macadamia nuts, and foods containing the sweetener Xylitol (also known as Birch sugar) are a few. If your pet ingests any of the above foods, call your veterinarian. Please read our Howl-O-WEEN safety blog, it goes into specific foods and the effects of each specific toxicity in greater detail. There is even a handy chocolate toxicity link.: ( 

LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW - Extreme cold weather, snow, ice and ice treatments, can be especially hard on pets. Exposure to these elements and chemicals can cause frostbite, hypothermia, and toxicities. Senior, overweight, and diabetic dogs may be affected by elements sooner than a younger, healthier pet. Shorten walks and exercise to reduce overexertion, which can lead to sore, stiff muscles. Dry your pets fur and wipe down feet after walks. Salt and other chemicals are toxic and we all know pets do lick their feet!  Better yet, make sure to protect their feet with protective footwear like Healers Urban Walker Dog Booties . Dogs paw pads have merocrine glands. These glands are sweat glands and assist in regulating your dog's internal temperature. When there are severe injures to paw pads, there is a possibility of this affecting that cooling regulatory process. Keep your pet warm with protective outerwear like Spot-Lite LED Lighted Jackets. These protective jackets will repel rain and snow while providing warmth against environmental elements, and are also a great safety factor keeping your pet visible in low light conditions. Always have your personal contact information on collars or tags in case your pet is lost!

BABY IT'S COLD OUTSIDE - Antifreeze is good for your car but it can kill your pet, even in small amounts!!! If your pet is vomiting, appears lethargic or drunk, get them to an emergency hospital quickly - time is key with this toxicity, even small amounts can prove fatal. Check for hidden treasures - honk your car horn or check underneath the hood, wheel wells and car carriage for any small animals that may be taking shelter from the cold.

SILENT NIGHT - Be sure your pet has a quiet, safe place to get away from all the activity to reduce stress and anxiety. The holidays can be overwhelming and exhausting, and the nature of pets is to be with us. Pets are social creatures, but they do need some "time out" too. Know the signs of stress (pacing, panting, whining, shaking, and hiding are a few) and remove your pet from the activity - most won't do this on their own! Provide soft music, dim lighting and a comfy bed for a wonderful sanctuary for your furbaby. If a little extra help is needed to calm an anxious pet, try Healers Therapeutic & Anxiety Body Wrap  , it is good to have on hand for Holiday gatherings, outings, New Years Eve, and 4th of July.

GRANDMA GOT RUN OVER BY A REINDEER -The feeling of joy during the holiday season can take a drastic turn to dread if your pet suffers from an injury or other unfortunate accident. Be prepared and plan ahead. Make sure you have the names, phone number, and address or your veterinary office and after-hours emergency posted or readily available should you need it.

Just like human hospitals and doctors offices, animal hospitals can be backed up and it can take days to weeks to get in for even routine care. If your pet has even a small injury, most clinics will refer you to an animal emergency hospital to be seen. The cost is not cheap and the waiting times are long, adding to an already stressful situation for both you and your pet.

Humans can call an advice nurse or even have a teleconference with their doctors if they are seeking advice. Unfortunately 9 out of 10 times you will be directed to take your pet to an emergency hospital if you call for advice.

It is hard for Veterinarians to give advice, diagnose and prescribe medication or home treatment without actually seeing your pet. Our furbabies can't tell us with words the required information needed for a safe and confident diagnosis by your Veterinarian. As frustrating as that is, to be fair, it is their license on the line and your pets wellbeing.

Make sure you have the necessary items on hand ahead of time to handle any small, non-life threatening situations at home. 

Healers Essentials or Comprehensive First Aid Kits - Designed to provide pet parents the items needed to care for cuts, lacerations, minor irritations, skin abrasions or other minor issues at home. The  First Aid Kits each come in a handy dry bag that can be kept at home, in a boat, car, or clipped to a  backpack when out and about. Another item to have on hand is Healers Medical BootiesThese boots are designed to protect cuts and wounds on the paws, while allowing airflow to promote healing. The boot acts as a protective bandage that is easily applied and removed, making the process of wound care simple and stress-free for owners and pets.  An improperly placed bandage can actually cause more damage than good. That is one of the reasons, beyond checking wound status, many Veterinarians require you to bring a pet in for bandage changes. Healers paw and leg care products give you the opportunity to take care of minor cuts and scrapes at home.

 Keeping a first aid kit on hand,  just for your pet, ensures you have everything you need to take care of small wounds or cuts when you need it. Be sure to include a thermometer (no glass or mercury) - designated just for them! A reading over 103 means your pet has a fever and should be seen by your Veterinarian.

NO human medication - PERIOD!!! This is very important. Although animals do take some of the same medications, the doses are very different and some medications, even in small amounts, can have drastic or fatal side effects - just don't do it!  That being said, many pets are treated at emergency hospitals from accidental ingestion of their humans medication or supplements. Be sure to keep these above roving tongues. 

IT'S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR - Take time to go through your home from your pet's perspective and ensure it's free from potential toxins or hazards. We wish you all a safe, healthy, and Happy Holiday Season and Happy New Year!

Healers PetCare was born out of the love for a pet, Jake, and finding a solution to take care of injuries he sustained on a hike that required daily care. Learn about our story and how a desire to take care of a beloved pet lead to sharing healing products with other pet owners,

We are dedicated to providing premium, natural and innovative products to pets and their pet parents. We welcome emails ( or phone calls (800-924-7036) if we can help answer any product questions you may have.

Article written by: Teresa Griffith, LVT

Teresa has over 30+ years experience as a veterinary technician at general practice and specialty animal hospitals. With extensive background in the ER, ICU, and Blood Bank departments, Teresa loves to share her experience and knowledge to help pet parents with their pets.

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