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Holiday Pet Safety Tips- Beware of Ice, Wires & Batteries!

Wires and Batteries:

Many Christmas decorations these days require a power source to light up and play our favourite Christmas tunes. This means more opportunity for our pets to get into trouble! Keep wires, cords and Christmas lights tucked away as much as possible to prevent accidental chewing and subsequent electrocution. There are plastic coverings available to help hinder those particularly curious pets.

Remember, cordless objects often use batteries. While batteries can seem harmless, they are actually a serious issue when ingested, especially if your pet chews them and releases the internal contents. The little round cell batteries in particular can prove fatal if unknowingly ingested.  If you suspect your pet may have eaten a battery, contact your veterinarian immediately. 

A commonly overlooked danger during the wintertime is one we all have experience with- slippery ice! With the blustery winter season comes the dreaded build-up of ice on the streets and sidewalks that can prove hazardous, even at home in our own yards. Here are some tips and tricks to help your pet brave their winter wonderland:

-Clear the snow in your yard regularly, including any decks or patios your pet may frequent. Ice gets particularly slippery when it is covered by a thin film of snow. With our ever-changing weather conditions here in Regina, we all know how fast the snow can melt and re-freeze. Keeping high traffic areas in your yard cleared on a regular basis will help prevent ice from building up
-Providing carpeted ramps may also be helpful for those pets who find braving the stairs a little more difficult (especially seniors or those with previous back injuries).  Ramps are often available online or you can make your own as a fun DIY. Remember not to make the ramp too steep!
-Keep your pet's nails and paw fur trimmed regularly so they have adequate grip on the ground. If your pet will tolerate it, there are booties available for extra traction!
-Pay particular attention to older pets who may have mobility disorders and those that are particularly spry runners – these pets are at more risk of slipping, which can lead to injuries such as ligament tears or strains. It is often better to stick to controlled leash walks during the winter months. Keeping up with weight management and fitness is also helpful as stronger muscles and joints are less likely to allow a slip. For those pets with muscle weakness and reduced mobility, a “Help-em-up Harness” can be a big help for keeping them upright and supported. Remember ice can also be very sharp causing paw pad cuts and scrapes.
-Finally, with ice often comes de-icer products. While most pets don’t tend to acquire a taste for it, these become a problem with accidental ingestions after walking over it and then licking the paws. De-icer products can cause a range of symptoms, from gastrointestinal upset to mouth ulcers to tremors and seizures. Even the pet-friendly products can still cause gastrointestinal upset. Try to avoid any de-icer products you come across and use sand or gravel instead. It is also good to get in the habit of washing and drying your pet’s paws after coming home from walks- this removes salt, sand and any gravel pieces that could be stuck in their fur!

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