Pets and the Holidays– Tips from Winnetka Animal Hospital

The doctors and staff at Winnetka Animal Hospital want your family–animal and human–to enjoy a very happy and safe holiday season. To make that happen, we’re pointing out several pet-related holiday and winter hazards.


For more detailed information on pet safety during the holidays, visit our web site. Emergency concerns? Please contact our office or Animal Emergency and Critical Care in Northbrook at 847-564-5775.

Food/ingestion hazards

  • A small amount of cooked meat shouldn’t harm your pet. If you do share, keep it boneless and with a minimal amount of fat.
  • Raw meat should be kept out of reach.
  • Do not let your animals ingest alcoholic beverages or anything containing a large amount of butter or fat.
  • Avoid cuts, scrapes, upset stomachs or major intestinal problems by watching pets carefully around holiday decorations.
  • Make sure your pets can’t reach holiday plants such as lilies, holly, poinsettias, and mistletoe, all of which can be toxic, or cause stomach upset.

Cold weather safety

  • For health and safety, keep your cats indoors.
  • Keep dogs on leash while outdoors–scents don’t carry as well when the ground is frozen, making it difficult to find their way home.
  • Use pet-safe salt outdoors and encourage neighbors to do the same.
  • Rinse and dry your dog’s paws well when you return indoors.
  • Short haired pets often benefit from sweaters or blankets when outdoors.

Kennels and holiday travel

Make sure your pet:

  • Is up to date on vaccinations prior to leaving for the kennel and has their normal diet and regular medications.
  • Has had flea preventative applied within the last month.
  • Has a health certificate (requiring an in-office physical exam) before traveling.  Check with your airline about temperature restrictions.

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