How to Keep Your Pets Safe When You Ring in the New Year

Follow these tips to keep your pets comfortable when you celebrate.

As we all get ready to ring in 2012, it’s important to remember to keep our furry friends happy and safe. Pets don't always understand the excitement of our festivities and can become nervous or scared. The following tips should help keep your pets comfortable and stress free as you celebrate.

  • As you count down to the New Year, remember that celebratory fireworks or other loud noises can frighten pets. If you are leaving for the evening, make sure your pets are secured in your home, provide ambient noise like a radio or TV, and be sure they are microchipped and wearing proper ID in case they get out. Even if you plan on a quiet New Year's at home, remember that neighbors may be celebrating and could disturb your pet. Be sure to take all the same precautions.
  • Keep your pets inside, and provide them with a quiet area that is familiar to them. Make sure they have everything they need, such as food, fresh water, safe chew toys for dogs, and a litter box for cats.
  • If you are having a party at your home, please make sure to food, chocolates, alcohol and decorations out of your pets’ reach.  Alcohol can be dangerous and deadly, and decorations can be a choking hazard or become lodged in your pet’s intestines.  Chocolate is especially toxic to both canines and felines. Also be sure that they have a quiet place to get away too if your festivities become too overwhelming.

It’s also important to note that winter is officially upon us. Although we are lucky to live in a mild climate here in San Diego, there still are some things to keep in mind during the colder months. The ASPCA suggests the following tips for keeping your pets happy and healthy:

  • During the winter, cats sometimes sleep under the hoods of cars to keep warm. When the motor is started, the cat can be injured or killed by the fan belt. Bang loudly on the hood before starting your car to give the cat a chance to escape.
  • Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter, as a longer coat will provide more warmth. When you bathe your dog in the colder months, be sure to completely dry him before taking him out for a walk. Own a short-haired breed? Consider getting him a coat or sweater with a high collar or turtleneck with coverage from the base of the tail to the belly. For many dogs, this is regulation winter wear.
  • Like coolant, antifreeze is a lethal poison for dogs and cats. Be sure to thoroughly clean up any spills from your vehicle, and consider using products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol.
  • Make sure your pet has a warm place to sleep, off the floor and away from all drafts. A cozy dog or cat bed with a warm blanket or pillow is perfect.

From all of us here at the Escondido Humane Society, have a happy and safe New Year, and we’ll see you in 2012!


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