It’s amazing to think that there are only three weeks left in the year, which is still plenty of time for our furry family members to be exposed to possible dangers. This week, Larimer Humane Society Shelter Supervisor Lee Jones provides some important tips on how to keep our pets safe from the holiday food, decorations, and the socially-distanced visitors who stop by.

Christmas trees can be one of the biggest hazards for both cats and dogs this time of year. Small ornaments and tinsel can be very enticing however, pose a choking and digestion hazard. They can also cause injury to the pets when broken due to sharp edges. A Christmas tree that is not properly secured can fall over on active pets causing injuries as well. Water in a tree stand can become toxic if ingested due to additives and preservatives used on the trees.

Many holiday plants are beautiful and really add to the holiday spirit, however, many of these plants are poisonous to the family pets. The list includes mistletoe, lilies, holly, and poinsettias. They are new to the house and therefore really capture the interest of the pet. Be sure to monitor their interest in the new plants and any nibble marks.

Many of the foods we so enjoy during the holidays are delicious and give us a real sense of tradition.  These same foods can be toxic for our pets or make them very ill. Foods you definitely don’t want to share with your fur babies would be chocolate, onions and garlic, cooked bones, nuts, and raisins. So, no fruitcake for Fido! It is always tempting to share but it really is in their best interest not let them partake.

During this holiday season, we may still have an occasional socially-distanced visitor. Pets that are shy or not used to so much activity may be concerned about this disruption of their routine. Try to give them space where they can distance themselves from a guest if they choose. Also when a guest is coming and going, be aware of where your pet is to avoid them getting out and going on an adventure.  When New Year’s comes around this can be a dangerous time for escaping pets so take extra care.

Pets are members of our family and we want them to enjoy the holidays as much as we do so consider them in your planning.