Keeping pets safe this holiday season

Keeping pets safe this holiday season



It can be fun to include animals in holiday festivities, but consider the following advice to keep pets safe as you gather with friends and family this season:

  • Potpourri, candles, and wax melts can make your pet sick if ingested. Tinsel, ribbons, wires and other dangly things can cause choking or obstruction. Holiday plants such as poinsettia, mistletoe and holly berries can be deadly to pets if ingested. If you have these items in your home, be mindful of where you place them and your pets’ interest in them.
  • Safely dispose of trash that may still have the smell of food on it. Items like plastic bags, foil and strings can cause choking, intestinal blockages, or other serious issues.
  • Visitors without animals of their own may not realize the dangers of having pets around human food. Remind guests that some holiday goodies are not safe for animals to eat. Visitors may also be unaware that dog fights can start over food, or that getting bit is a very real risk when trying to take food or food wrappers away from an animal.
  • Guests who are unfamiliar with your pets might let an indoor cat outside or accidentally leave a door or gate open, allowing a pet to escape. Be sure pets are wearing collars with ID tags, dogs are licensed, and pet microchip information is up to date.
  • Remember that not everyone is comfortable with pets. Even someone who loves animals may have allergies or be physically unable to handle a large or rambunctious pet. It can also be stressful for animals to be around new people, especially if they aren’t used to children or the walkers, canes or wheelchairs some guests may use. Give pets a safe space to retreat to and don’t force interactions between pets and people.

We hope you and your animal friends have a safe and happy holiday season!


For more information on these topics and more, please visit The Bonnie Hays Animal Shelter is located at 1901 SE 24th Ave in Hillsboro. If you have a question for the animal shelter, email