Some people and animals don’t mix: Keeping people and pets safe this holiday season

Some people and animals don’t mix: Keeping people and pets safe this holiday season



For many people, the holiday season means welcoming visitors into their home for celebrations. Help prevent bites and injuries to people, while also keeping beloved pets safe, by considering how your pets and human guests will interact during the festivities.

It’s important to 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. If you have an animal companion like a reptile, bird or ferret, your guests may have little experience with your species of pet and may not be comfortable interacting with them or know how to safely hold or touch them.


Not all pets are comfortable with all people either.

If your animals are not used to kids, their high-energy holiday antics may be overwhelming. People using walkers, canes, wheelchairs, or other medical equipment can frighten pets initially as well. Just the presence of additional people in a home can be very stressful for some animals. Make sure your pets have a safe space away from the action to retreat to easily.

People without animals in their home may not realize the dangers of having pets around human food. Not only are some holiday treats toxic to animals (such as chocolate, alcohol and raw dough), but dog fights can break out over food. Getting bit is a real risk when trying to take food (or food wrappers) away from otherwise well-behaved creatures.

It can be wonderful to introduce the pets you love to your friends and family but consider the safety of both the pets and people in your life before putting them together.


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