“It is important to try to keep your pet's eating and exercise habits as close to their normal routine as possible,” she said. “Be sure to steer pets clear of unhealthy treats, toxic plants (poinsettia’s) and dangerous decorations. Any of these can be life threatening.”
Malone also said pet owners should leave wrapped food or candy gifts under the Christmas tree.
“Dogs especially have a very keen sense of smell and they will sniff out those treats,” she said, adding that people should also be careful making decorations out of popcorn, nuts and other food items because pets “may decide to make them their next meal.”
After parties or holiday dinners, food leftovers should be taken care of promptly since meat bones can splinter and choke.
“Rancid food is full of bacteria and can make a pet very sick, so make sure garbage is not accessible to the pet,” Malone said.
She also said it’s ok if hosts and hostesses “remind guests not to give pets any people food.”
“Have special pet treats available for them to give the begging” animals, she added.
“Exercise your dogs to try to wear them out before guests arrive,” Malone said. “Then be sure to secure all pets if family and friends are coming or going. Pets slip out very easily when everyone is busy.”
Malone, a certified Master Pet Tech (First Aid/CPR) and dog trainer, can be reached at 480-689-1261.