Virginia Veterinary Medical Association Discusses Winter Pet Safety

Virginia Veterinary Medical Association Member Dr. Geri Carlson Gives Tips on Keeping Pets Safe During the Winter Months

Richmond, VA, November 23, 2013 --( The Virginia Veterinary Medical Association (VVMA) has announced the release of its podcast discussing how to keep pets safe, warm and healthy during the winter months. In the podcast, VVMA member Geri Carlson, D.V.M., advises pet owners on how to protect pets in the cold weather and what they should be aware of during the holidays.

Carlson provides several helpful tips, such as suggesting dog owners check their pet’s paws after a walk or run in the snow to make sure that no irritation has occurred from the salt, anti-freeze or other substances on the roads. She recommends keeping ribbon and tinsel away from cats because it can get caught in their intestines if chewed. In addition, pet owners are reminded to keep in mind that many common foods, plants and household items can be poisonous to cats and dogs. Chocolate, raisins, lilies and anti-freeze should be kept away from all pets. Furthermore, Carlson provides guidelines about how to avoid behavioral problems and keep pets stress-free during the holiday season.

The podcast is available for download at For more advice on winter and year-round pet safety, visit

“Most dogs can tolerate colder weather, but if the temperature remains below freezing for a while, or if there is a very cold wind chill, it is best to bring them indoors. Luckily in Virginia, we tend not to have those crazy, long cold spells,” said Carlson. “A lot of winter pet care is common sense. Try not to change too much and be aware of what you are leaving around.”

“In addition to colder weather, the holiday season can also present some challenges for pet owners during winter months,” said Robin R. Schmitz, executive director of the VVMA. “With so many changes to pet owners’ homes, including decorations and visits from family and friends, some pets can become stressed and experience behavioral changes. Make sure to keep dangerous items out of your pet’s way and try to limit changes to their environment as much as possible.”

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About The Virginia Veterinary Medical Association:
The Virginia Veterinary Medical Association (VVMA) is a professional organization of veterinarians dedicated to preserving and enhancing the quality of human and animal life through veterinary medicine. The organization aims to establish and enhance open communication between members of the association and industry representatives. The VVMA provides continuing education programs and conferences, supports its members through mentoring programs, lobbies on behalf of the interests in the field of veterinary medicine and serves as an advocate and voice for the Virginia veterinary medicine community. For more information, visit, or call (800) 937-8862 or (804) 346-2611.
Virginia Veterinary Medical Association
Robert Buhler