How to keep old and new pets safe during the holidays

Animals from shelters are looking for forever homes, so a lot of consideration should go into thinking about getting a new pet

Remember: It is illegal to leave animals outside during the winter months when temperatures hit below freezing. Animal Charity has humane agents out looking for animals left in the cold. Owners will be charged if their animals are not inside when freezing temperatures hit.

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WYTV) – The holidays are a great time for family and friends to come together and celebrate, including with their animals.

Whether you are getting a new pet for Christmas or still taking care of your family pet, the holidays can pose a threat to your furry family members.

Dr. Donald Allen is a Boardman veterinarian who says pets need to be kept away from holiday decorations and food.

He said he sees a lot of patients during this time of the year with upset stomachs and respiratory reactions.

When these types of animals come to his clinic, he asks their owners what foods they have been eating. The responses are usually holiday scraps from the table.

Allen suggests not giving animals any pork, turkey skins, bones, spicy or greasy foods, desserts or candy.

To avoid pet sickness from food, tell your guests that your pet has a sensitive stomach and will get sick from any human food. If they want to give them a holiday treat, make sure it is one your pet can tolerate.

Another holiday hassle is allergies, your pets may be allergic to the tree, wreathes or candles around your house.

“The thing about allergies is it tends to be cumulative. A little hit of this, a little hit of this and finally it gets to the point where your body says, ‘That’s enough, I’ve reached my trigger point, my threshold, and that’s when I start to react.’ Be it watery eyes or sneezing,” Allen said.

Here, Mary Louk of Animal Charity of Ohio talks about Lindsay, an 8 to 10-week-old kitten who is new to the shelter. Louk said Lindsay is looking for a forever home and is available for adoption.
Here, Mary Louk of Animal Charity of Ohio talks about Lindsay, an 8 to 10-week-old kitten who is new to the shelter. Louk said Lindsay is looking for a forever home and is available for adoption.

For those who want to adopt new animals for Christmas, owners need to keep even more things in mind to keep their new pet safe.

A lot of people want to get or gift animals for the holidays, but simply treating them like a gift with a return receipt is not a good idea.

Animals from shelters are looking for forever homes, so a lot of consideration should go into thinking about getting a new pet.

Mary Louk with Animal Charity of Ohio says some animals get adopted for the holidays, but owners end up returning them after a month or two.

“You might think that [family members or friends] want an animal, but they really might not or they might want to be more involved with the decision,” Louk said.

If you and your family decide to commit to a new furry friend this holiday season, make sure you all are prepared.

“People don’t take the time to really think about what adopting a new family member means. You know, how much work. Puppies and kitties both take some training. They need potty training, they need vet care,” Louk said.

During the winter months, colder weather can complicate potty training for puppies. So, instead of keeping them outside for a long time, make their visits outside short and frequent.

“Also, if you’re walking your dogs out in this weather, be very careful with the salt on their paws. It can cause inflammation and if they lick it, it can make them sick,” she said.

She also suggests to make sure you check with your veterinarian to get them spayed or neutered as soon as possible.