Photo by Chris Stone

 The San Diego Humane Society released a series of tips to help keep pets safe this holiday season.

“With the bustling holiday season upon us, San Diego Humane Society reminds pet owners to consider their pets’ safety when decking the halls,” an SDHS release said. “Holiday decorations, seasonal plants and festive treats can sometimes be harmful for pets.”

Some of the tips to keep in mind this Christmas:

— Sharing holiday goodies with animals can be dangerous. Too much fatty or rich food can lead to digestive problems. Some foods, such as onions, grapes/raisins and chocolate can be toxic;

— Ask guests not to share food with pets. They may mean well, but it is important to remind them of the potential dangers. Prepare sealed snack bags in advance and let guests use those treats instead of sharing from their plates;

— Christmas trees can be hazardous, particularly for climbing cats, so make sure the tree is secure and preferably in a corner;

— Dangling tree ornaments can seem like great toys to cats and dogs. Keep dangerous ornaments such as glass and tinsel — which can be a choking hazard — on high branches, out of the reach of little paws. Cords from lights should be taped down or otherwise secured to prevent pets from chewing on them;

— Keep an eye on items under the tree. Don’t let pets drink water from the base of a live tree as it may be stagnant and contain bacteria. Ribbons and bows can be a choking hazard and any packages filled with edible gifts are likely to be discovered;

— A number of holiday season plants are toxic or can cause digestive upset to pets if nibbled or eaten, including amaryllis, Christmas cactus, Christmas rose, evergreens, holly, ivy, juniper, lilies, mistletoe and poinsettias. Be sure all plants are kept out of reach of pets;

— Burning candles should be placed high, out of any pet’s way. A dog’s tail wag or a cat’s curiosity could be devastating. Homes with fireplaces should use screens to avoid accidental burns;

— Pets can get stressed with noise and activity. Give a pet a quiet, secure place with a bed and their favorite toys to escape the commotion. Put food, water and a litter box for cats in that space;

— Holiday distractions may make it easier for pets to escape through open doors. Keep pets safely indoors and always make sure they’re wearing current ID tags with a phone number and that their microchip information is up to date;

— Pets thrive on routine and increased activity during the holiday season can upset that routine. Keep pets on their regular schedule for feeding and exercise and be sure they get plenty of love and attention; and

— Holiday sweaters may seem irresistible, but if a furry friend does not enjoy dressing up, let them be themselves.

–City News Service

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