Help your pets enjoy the holidays but watch out for these dangers

Help your pets enjoy the holidays but watch out for these dangers

Each month, you will have the chance to have your questions answered by the animal shelter.

What holiday treats are safe to share with my dog?

It’s tempting to share goodies with your furry friend, but pets should never consume any of the following: alcohol, chocolate, cocoa, garlic, macadamia nuts, raisins, grapes, yeast dough, onions, sugarless gums, mints or anything else made with the sweetener xylitol. What can you share? Dogs may enjoy a bit of plain canned pumpkin puree or a small amount of cooked, plain sweet potato.

This is my first holiday season with my new pet. What holiday dangers should I watch out for?

A few special considerations for this time of year:

Kitchen dangers: Safely dispose of plastic wrap, bags, and aluminum foil that have the smell or juice from food on them. If ingested, these can cause choking or intestinal obstruction. Meat-soaked strings from roasts can cause a surgical emergency if ingested.

Decoration dangers: Potpourri, candles and wax melts can make your pet sick if ingested. Tinsel, ribbons, wires and other dangly things can cause choking or obstruction. Holidays plants such as poinsettia, mistletoe, holly berries and some lilies can be deadly to pets if ingested.

Visitors: Guests who are unfamiliar with your pets might let an indoor cat outside, assume your dog is OK off leash, or accidently leave a door or gate open. Tell visitors how they can help keep your pets safe. Animals can also find new people stressful, especially if they aren’t used to children or the walkers, canes, or wheelchairs that some older guests may need. Give pets a safe space they can retreat to (and you can join them if you need a break, too!).

For more information on these topics and more, please visit The Bonnie Hays Animal Shelter is located in downtown Hillsboro at 1901 SE 24th Ave. Email your questions to: