Pet Safety For The Holiday Season
The holidays bring celebrations, decorations, and unfortunately potential hazards to our beloved pets. Check out these pet safety tips to ensure your holiday is fun and safe for your furry family members.  

Keep Decorations Out Of Reach However you decorate for the holidays - it may include trees, lots of candles, or ornamental plants. New sights, smells, and unfortunately tastes can draw curious pets.  This might mean harm to your pets or damage to your decorations.

Be conscientious of placement of trees - sometimes a spot in the corner can offer a bit of help, or if you have a room that can be closed off - and be sure your tree is secure in it's stand. Block decorations from pets reach. Although flame candles are desirable, there are other options such as battery operated candles or sturdy protective hurricane lanterns that can't be easily knocked over. Keep holiday plants out of reach. Poinsettias, holly berries or mistletoe, are toxic to pets.

Cold Weather, Pets, And Cars
Remember to leave your dog at home with a sitter when traveling during severe winter weather, and even on quick trips to the store - as it is never a good idea to leave your dog in the car. Joy rides are best with mild temperatures. 

Cats will seek out a any warm place they can find during the cold winter months. Unfortunately, this may mean under the hood of a warm car engine where fatal accidents can occur when starting the car. Be observant of paw prints in the snow and make it a habit to make noise when approaching your vehicle before starting the engine.

Winter Chemicals And Pets
Antifreeze/coolant is very dangerous for animals when spilled or leaking from a vehicle. Also, the types of salt used to melt snow & ice on sidewalks and roads can be harsh on delicate paws.

Keep all pets away from your garage and clean up any chemical spills right away. Animals are tend to love the taste of deadly antifreeze. Symptoms of ingestion are convulsions or acting "drunk". Take your pet to the vet immediately if you suspect they have gotten into antifreeze - just the smallest sip can be fatal. Also, be sure not to let your pet wander unattended - you never know what chemicals can be present at your neighbors' homes. 

Protect your pet from salt on sidewalks and roads with booties, and keep chemicals off of your pet's paws.

Winter Diet
Outdoor pets tend to eat more food in the wintertime, whereas indoor pets conserve energy by sleeping more in the winter.

Remember to offer plenty of food to your outside pet and check that the water in the water bowl isn't frozen. 

Portion your food accordingly for indoor pets, cutting back a little in the winter will help to prevent your pet from becoming overweight during the season where they tend to not be as active. 

Outdoor Pets Can Freeze!
Bring your pets inside during the colder temperatures, especially at nighttime. Outdoor shelters should be dry and draft-free. Pet coats and booties help but isn't enough protection during freezing temperatures - don't leave your pet out in the cold! 

Wintering with your pet is mostly common sense -
if you are cold, your pet is cold. Snuggle up until the spring thaw!


Masha Halpern and The Smart Move Team is your ultimate real estate resource for Chapel HillDurhamCarrboro and surrounding areas. Visit my website at for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

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Masha is also a certified member of Keller Williams Luxury International and is Chapel Hill & Durham's EXCLUSIVE member of Cyber Stars International – Top Realtors Using Technology – a group dedicated to taking the best and latest technological advances and applying them to real estate advertising and marketing for her clients in all price pointsMasha Halpern can be contacted for a private consultation by calling 919-414-0337 or by visiting