Enjoy A Happy, Safe New Year With Your Pets

Submitted By Lisa Norwood

Keep your furry friends safe into the New Year with helpful tips from Animal Care Services.

Now that the holidays have come and gone and the cold weather is here to stay, people will be spending more time indoors entertaining. Residents may want to include their pets in the merrymaking but that could mean trouble without a few elementary precautions. Here are some simple tips.

Pay attention to your companion animal. Pets are often ignored in the rush and excitement of the holidays. This can lead to mischief.

Unsure how your pet will react to all the new faces in the house? Create a safe, comfortable place for your pet to relax. Make sure you put out plenty of fresh food, water and toys.

Play with your dog or cat at least twice a day for twenty minutes. A tired pet is less likely to do something “off limits.” Use baby gates to cut off access to “restricted” areas.

Traveling with your pet in the New Year? Make sure you bring all your pet’s supplies including food, dishes, leash and collar, toys as well as any medications your pet may be need. Ensure your pet has some form of identification should they get lost like an engraved tag with your contact number or a microchip ID. Animal Care Services (ACS) offers free microchips during regular business hours for City of San Antonio residents.

If your dog will be staying with a friend, a pet sitter or at a boarding kennel during the holiday, make arrangements well in advance to avoid any last minute hassles.

Holiday goodies should be kept away from your pet. Chocolate and raisins can actually be toxic to many animals. It may be tempting but don’t give your pet food off of the table. Holiday foods can be hard on your animal’s stomach and may lead to issues of the intestinal variety. Candies and gums with the artificial sweetener Xylitol can also be toxic to pets. Remember, poultry bones, including turkey, are a choking hazard. Giving alcohol to a pet, even a sip or two, is dangerous and could be fatal.

Think your pet may have ingested something toxic? Call the Pet Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435 (there may be a charge) or dial the nearest pet emergency clinic. Check the Yellow Pages under “veterinary clinic” for one closest to you.