From deadly plants to severe weather, winter can be dangerous for pets – here are some safety tips

Posted at 7:41 AM, Dec 10, 2018

BOISE, Idaho — As temperatures continue to drop and snow begins to fall, it's important to remember that even our furry friends are affected by harsh weather conditions. That walk around the block, forgetting to take that sweater off your pup and even having festive plants around the house could harm or even kill your pet.

The Idaho Humane Society spoke with KIVI to share these helpful tips.

  1. Wipe your dog's paws and underbelly after a walk in the snow. With the roads getting icy and slick, it is common for the ground to be treated with de-icer. De-icer can, and will, chemically burn your pet's paws and underbelly if left in contact with their skin for an extended time. The best way to avoid chemical burns is to wipe your pet's paws immediately after being outside or bundle them up with protective gear.
  2. Remove winter apparel as soon as your pet is indoors. So you've taken preventive measures to ensure your pet won't sustain chemical burns from de-icer. But throwing a sweater and booties on your furry friend presents news risks. If their winter apparel accumulates any moisture, leaving damp clothing on your pet can potentially lead to hypothermia. While bundling your dog up outdoors is wise, take it all off once indoors.
  3. Festive plants are poisonous to your pets.  Poinsettias, holly, mistletoe and lilies are beautiful plants to display around the home, but if your pet consumes these plants they run the risk of getting sick or even dying. If you choose to keep these plants around the house, make sure they are out of reach from your cat or dog.

The Idaho Humane Society also adds that with the upcoming holidays, money may get a little tight. They want you to know you have options when it comes to caring for your pet properly.

If you need help providing basic shelter for your dog or if feeding your pet has become an expense you can no longer afford, reach out to your local pet shelters. They may be able to help you. 

If the overall cost of caring for your dog has become too overwhelming and relinquishing your pet is the only option, it is OK to be honest with your local pet shelter, says  Kristine Schellhaas, the communications manager for the Idaho Humane Society.

"There should be no shame when surrendering your pet," Schellhaas said. "We want people to be honest with us about the situation, what's going on with their animal so we can re-home that pet and give it the best chance as possible."