6260 State Rd., Parma, OH 44134 | Parma Animal Shelter, 501(c)(3) organization

As a pet owner, you want to do everything you can to keep your pets safe. During the holidays, like the Fourth of July, some cats and dogs may become anxious and nervous. Make sure your pets have a safe place in your home where they can go and hide out until the fireworks stop. Read on to learn about pet safety tips; then share your thoughts in the comments below.
Discover Pet Safety Tips from Parma Animal Shelter.

Pet Safety Tips

Whether you live in an apartment, town home, condo or single home, there are important pet safety tips you should know.


During the summer months, pet should not be left in cars. In fact, leaving pets in your vehicle is one of the biggest violations of pet safety Animal Control Officers see.

Even though the temperature outside may be a breezy 70 or 80 degrees, it’s hotter inside of your car. Keep in mind that if you keep pets outside, they need shade, food and water. It’s best to keep your pets inside your home.

Another weather related pet safety tip is to keep your pets inside during the winter months. However, if this is not possible, outdoor pets must be provided with shelter. Their home should be elevated off the ground to prevent moisture accumulation and have a door of some kind to keep out winter winds, sleet, and snow. Shelters should be insulated or heated. Water sources may be heated to permit constant access to unfrozen water; thermal units designed specifically for this purpose are readily available.

Outdoor pets require extra calories to keep warm. Feed your pet according to its needs when the temperature drops. In severely cold or inclement weather, no pet should be kept outside. Indoor pets should have sleeping quarters in a draft-free, warm area with their bed or mattress elevated slightly off the floor.

Roaming Cats

Roaming cats, as well as house pets and wildlife, may climb onto vehicle engines for warmth during cold weather. Be sure to check under the hood before starting your vehicle and honk the horn to startle any animals seeking shelter inside. Use this pet safety tip and you can save a life.

Frostbite and Snow Removal Salt

Snow and salt should be removed from your pet’s paws immediately! This pet safety tip can save your pets paws.

Frostbitten skin is red or gray and may slough. Apply warm, moist towels to thaw out frostbitten areas slowly until the skin appears flushed. Contact your veterinarian as soon as possible for further care.

Snow removal products should be stored out of the reach of pets and small children as their toxicity varies considerably.

Toxic plants and holiday and winter products

Discover Pet Safety from Parma Animal Shelter.

Plants and other items associated with the winter and holiday season can be toxic to your pets.

What follows is a general guide. Please consult your veterinarian, animal poison control and the manufacturer for specifics. Remember, the earlier you seek treatment, the better for your pet.

Low toxicity

Poinsettia leaves and stems. Balsam, pine, cedar and fir. Angel hair (spun glass). Christmas tree preservatives. Snow sprays and snow flock. Tree ornaments. Super glue, styrofoam, icicles (tinsel), crayons and paints.

Moderate toxicity

Fireplace colors and salts and plastic model cement.

Moderate to high toxicity

Holly berries and leaves. Bubbling lights (methylene chloride). Snow scenes (may contain salmonella). Aftershaves, perfumes, alcoholic beverages and chocolate (dark is more toxic than milk).

Highly toxic

Mistletoe (especially berries). Epoxy adhesives and antifreeze. Please note that some items have special problems. For example, whereas angel hair is usually considered to be of low toxicity, it can irritate eyes, skin, and the gastrointestinal tract.

The content of Christmas tree preservatives varies and often effects depend upon the amount ingested.

Styrofoam, small parts from Christmas tree ornaments and toys, as well as tinsel, can cause mechanical obstructions in the gastrointestinal tract.

Snow flock can cause problems if sprayed into the mouth and inhaled. Chocolate, of any type, should never be given to a pet.

Antifreeze deserves special mention because even a very small amount can be rapidly fatal to pets.

Other holiday concerns

If you plan to take your pet with you during holiday visits, make sure that your pet is welcome first (with all the activity, it may be better to board your pet or hire a pet sitter).

Holiday treats, such as rich, fatty food scraps, bones from fish, pork, and poultry, alcoholic beverages, and chocolate, can be harmful or toxic to pets.

Do not allow friends and relatives to give your pet special treats it could ruin everyone’s holiday (including your veterinarian’s).

Do not allow pets to play with ribbons, yarn, or six-pack beverage holders and don’t put ribbons or yarn around your pet’s neck. If you want to decorate your pet, invest in a holiday collar. These last for many years, are more attractive, and are a lot safer! Cover or tack down electrical cords.

Pet safety is a concern for many pet owners. After all, your pet is part of your family. You want them to be safe just as you’d want your children to be safe.

If you have a question about pet safety, consult your veterinarian. Or, if you stop at the Parma Animal Shelter, ask our helpful volunteers. They are more than happy to share their knowledge of pet safety. If you Julie, Parma Animal Control Officer, ask her how you can keep your pets safe.

Over to you. What pet safety tips do you have? Let us know in the comments below.

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