Pima Animal Care Center wants everyone – including those with busy tails or long whiskers – to have a safe holiday season.

“The holidays can be a beautiful time to share with family and friends, but it’s also a time that can present safety hazards for our pets," said Shelter Manager Justin Gallick. “With a quick tour of your surroundings, you can make sure everything is pet-proofed for the season.”

Here are a few key areas that deserve some attention:

Poinsettas and Mistletoe: These plants can spell significant gastrointestinal problems if ingested. Consider artificial plants. If you use the real thing, make sure they’re securely out of range of curious pets.

Christmas Trees: Don’t let pets slurp up the tree water, which could be a Petri dish for bacteria or chemicals. And because pets will often explore new items in the house, make sure the tree is secure enough that it won’t fall and cause injury.

Decorations: It’s best to steer clear of tinsel, since kitties in particular tend to play with it and eat it. Keep bulbs and other decorations high enough that pets won’t be tempted to chew or swallow them, since shards can cause lacerations and intestinal injury. Make sure lit candles are out of reach as well.

Diet dilemmas: Try to keep your pet’s schedule and diet on track, including taking your pet for regular walks and steering clear of all of the no-no food that can cause some serious uh-ohs. Make sure temptations – and that includes trash bags – are kept out of reach. Bones left over from the feast? You might feel a bit Scrooge-like, but it’s best not to let your canine companions have them.

Holiday hubbub: Between the noise of parties and the risk of being underfoot or escaping with the entry and exodus of guests, it might be best to provide your pets with their own space, complete with plenty of water.

Come visit our adoption center from noon to 7 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends. Happy Holidays!

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