Pets may see Christmas decorations as toys and are tempted by Christmas foods. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance)

Langley animal welfare group reminds people about holiday pet hazards

Many staples are of the Christmas season are harmful to pets.

Pets don’t get Christmas.

Their humans cook all these foods that they don’t share.

There’s this tree in the living room, sometimes smelling of pine and sometimes smelling of plastic. It’s covered in strings of lights and balls and all manner of things that look like toys.

There’s lots of ‘No’ or ‘don’t touch’. And now they have these projectors that show little dots flying around on the front of the house or on windows, and they would be so fun to chase.

Jayne Nelson, executive director of the Langley Animal Protection Society, has some advice on making it safer for pets.

The key is keeping pets and dangerous or toxic items apart.

That includes not letting cats and dogs have poultry bones, strings from roast meats, and even candy such as chocolate, as well as raisins, grapes, and nuts.

Don’t let them play with decorations (nothing spoils the holidays like a trip to the emergency veterinary clinic), and keep items such as plants in safe spots.

“Some popular holiday plants, including mistletoe, holly and many types of lily, are poisonous to pets,” she noted.

Anyone contemplating giving a pet for Christmas should be cautious.

“Christmas is such a busy time of the year, it can be a little overwhelming to add in a brand new pet, both for the pet and their people,” Nelson said.

Instead, consider giving items the new pet parent will need such as leashes and bowls for dogs, litter boxes and toys for cats, instruction manuals for pets, gift certificates for supplies, or funds for adoption fees.

After the rush of the holidays is a better time to bring a new pet into the home. Nelson added that people should consider adopting from animal welfare groups.

Many post information on their adoptable pets online and always welcome questions from the public.

“It can be a wonderful thing to give the gift of a pet to someone who wants one and has the lifestyle to commit and care for a pet for its life,” she said. “It is especially wonderful if you are helping an animal from your local shelter find a loving furever home.”

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