Keeping Our Outdoor Furry Friends Safe During The Holidays
If we’re thinking of the holidays from a child’s imaginary perspective, we would safely assume that Santa’s many reindeer are being pampered and protected during the other 364 days of the year. After these magical, mostly mythical creatures have helped to deliver billions of presents all across the globe during one chaotic Christmas Eve, they’ve certainly earned themselves a reward of relaxing during the rest of the year.
But here in the real world, the winter holiday season stretches from tricks-and-treats and decorating for Halloween, all the way through ringing in the New Year. While those eight tiny reindeer (naturally with Rudolph leading the way) are only in peril during one, seemingly unending evening flight happening all over the world. But our pets are subjected to holiday hazards for almost three solid months right here at home.
Real or imaginary, animals found at the North Pole mostly consist of polar bears, seals and arctic foxes. They may seem cute and cuddly, but more often they’re deadly and dangerous. Here in the states, we have a plethora of problematic pests to contend with, everything from bats to rodents, even in suburban environments. During these colder months of the holiday season, these critters are looking for a warmer place to call home.
Be sure to make your outdoor living spaces, especially a backyard or garden, as least-inviting for wildlife and safer for our pets by:
● Regularly checking outdoor fencing for loose boards, examining hinges and latches to ensure they’re working properly.
● Ensuring that garbage and refuse containers are tightly closed or, whenever possible, keep them inside outbuildings like a garage or shed.
● Keep these types of enclosures closed at all times when not in use and regularly check them for small holes or cracks that could let wildlife inside.
● If you have a compost pile, make sure it’s covered and away from your home or garage.
● Examine water dishes to make sure they aren’t frozen over and never store pet food or treats outdoors.
While we all know that animals shouldn’t be kept outside (especially overnight) when temperatures drop below freezing, still some pets are happy to spend some time outdoors, even in colder months. By taking some extra precautions, we can help to ensure their safety, health and well being when they are outside.
Further Protecting Them
As previously mentioned, animals are often seeking warmth and shelter during the holidays and the ASPCA brings us some newer warnings when it comes to protecting our pets (download their full guidelines here). For furry felines, whether they’re homeless and feral or companion animals who spend some of their time outdoors, they could be lurking underneath the hood of our cars seeking heat from engines.
Before departing on a journey into the cold weather, be sure to bang on your car hood, slam your door, honk the horn and make some other kinds of noises before starting your vehicle. This brief amount of noise could be just enough to startle a sleeping animal near your car’s engine. Just a little bit of forethought could easily save a life during these colder months.
Home For The Holidays
This time honored tradition has continued to bring us closer together for the holidays, making sure we’re all safe and warm during the season of giving. We can take a little bit of extra time to be a bit more alert and aware, while spending time with our family and our best, four-legged friends during these colder winter months.
Ring in the New Year with great prosperity for all of us, along with everyone and anyone that’s close to you and yours! This also includes our pets, friends and family, all of those we love and care for … they’re are most important to us.