With the holidays upon us and winter temperatures settling in, Lubbock Animal Services is offering pet owners some animal safety tips and suggestions to keep furry friends – and their loved ones – merry.
Steven Greene, director of LAS, said as temperatures dip to near freezing, people should start thinking about bringing their pets indoors.
“A lot depends on just the animal themselves, but we always say any time it’s under 32 and there’s any moisture in the air, you need to get all of the dogs that are tethered up off of those tethers and into homes,” he said.
When it does snow in Lubbock, Greene said it’s OK for animals to play in the snow as long as they are running and moving to keep their body heat up.
When they come back inside, Greene said to wipe their paws so they aren’t cold and moist.
When animals do come inside for Christmas and the winter holidays, Greene said there are a few things individuals have to keep an eye out for.
“Poinsettias’ berries can be fatal for dogs,” he said. “If they’re not fatal, it can cause a lot of stomach issues.”
Pet owners also have to be weary about animals consuming Styrofoam decorations, cords and animals being around guests, Greene said.
“Make sure if your pet’s kind of fearful of people that you keep them in a room away from the guests and just kind of pay attention to them,” he said.
Giving your animals table scraps may be tempting, but according to the American Veterinary Medical Association the practice can be deadly for dogs.
Foods like turkey, turkey skin, onions, grapes and baked goods are considered poisonous or hazardous to animals.
If your family is thinking about surprising your kids or family members with a furry friend, Green said he would caution against it and would rather the person receiving the gift come out and pick for themselves.
“They can come in and see what kind of temperament the animal has and how active it is and if it’s gonna fit their lifestyle,” he said. “The whole kind of ‘surprise your child’ or ‘surprise someone with a pet’ – we highly discourage that.”
For those adopting an animal, Greene said his department will go over the fees and associated costs it takes to care for an animal to make sure people know the financial commitment they’re getting in to.
Overall, Greene said to keep one thing in mind this winter when it comes to caring for your furry friends.
“If it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for them,” he said.