• Feasting on wonderful treats is all part of the fun, but sharing those goodies with your favorite animal companion could be dangerous. Too much fatty, rich or even just new types of foods can lead to digestive problems.
• Bones can tear up or obstruct your pets’ insides, and onions destroy a dog’s red blood cells, leading to anemia. Chocolate, especially baking chocolate, can actually kill your dog, so keep it all well out of reach.
• Instead, indulge your pets with a special pet food or treat, or place a few tablespoons of peanut butter stuffed in a favorite “food carrier” toy. Be sure all guests know the house rules about feeding table scraps to pets.
• Twinkling lights around the house mean extra cords and plugs, which are very tempting “chew toys” for pets. Taping down or covering cords will help prevent shocks, burns or more serious injuries.
• Dangling tree ornaments seem like great toys to cats and dogs. Be sure dangerous ornaments such as glass and tinsel (which can be a choking hazard) are hung on high branches, out of the reach of little paws, and very well secured.
• A number of holiday season plants are toxic or can cause digestive upset to pets if nibbled or eaten, including ivy, holly, mistletoe, poinsettias and lilies. Be sure all of the plants are kept out of reach of pets.
• Guests coming in and out of your home will be at a peak, and this increases the potential for pets escaping through open doors. Keep your pets safely indoors and always make sure they’re wearing current ID tags and that their microchip information is up to date, just in case!
• Our pets can get just as stressed as we do with increased guests, noise and activity. Make sure your pet always has a quiet, secure place to escape the commotion.
• Pets thrive on routine, and increased activity or visitors during the holiday season can upset that routine. Try to keep your pet on his regular schedule for feeding and exercise and be sure the pet gets plenty of love and attention from you!
— Serving San Diego County since 1880, the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA provides vital services to animals and people alike through sheltering and adopting animals, providing positive reinforcement behavior training for adoptable animals and for owned animals through public training classes, investigating animal cruelty and neglect, providing adult and youth education programs, sharing animals through pet-assisted therapy and rescuing animals in emergency situations. A private nonprofit organization that receives no public or government funding, the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA is supported solely by contributions, grants, bequests, investments, proceeds from the Humane Society’s retail store Muttique and some fees for service.