Happy Holidays to our Furry Friends


With all the craziness of the holiday season, sometimes Fido and Fluffy may get themselves in trouble. La Plata County Humane Society Director Chris Nelson shares some of his top tips for ensuring that everyone has a safe and happy holiday. By Hannah Robertson. Sponsored by Closets Plus and Tafoya Barrett and Associates

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A clowder of cats hiding in Christmas trees or knocking them over and dogs excitedly tearing open their presents make the rounds on social media every year. While the videos may be good for a laugh or two, they also highlight some of the dangers that pets face this time of year. You're watching the Local News Network, brought to you by Closets Plus and Tafoya Barrett and Associates. I'm Wendy Graham Settle. Between last-minute gift shopping, holiday gatherings with friends and family, cooking and baking, remember to keep an eye on your four-legged friends, especially if they're spending more time inside because of the colder weather. What should put you on high alert to protect your pets? La Plata Humane Society director of animal services Chris Nelson said your top priority should be that Christmas tree.

Cats like to get in them, climb in them. Tinsel can be very dangerous for dogs and cats, all the little shiny things on there. I have a dog who's notorious for going and knocking the bulbs off and breaking them and that sort of thing.

Also watch out for those little pieces of paper and ribbon after unwrapping gifts. If you want your dog to unwrap his new squeaky toy, that's fine. Just make sure they're not eating any of the paper and especially not any ribbon or tinsel. Ingesting those items can cause blockages in your pet's digestive system, which can create a lot of pain and discomfort and an expensive trip to the emergency veterinarian. With that in mind, make sure you pick the right gifts and treats for your pets. Rawhide is generally not a great idea, as it's very hard for dogs to digest and can cause blockages in their system.

Size-appropriate toys. And when I say size-appropriate toys, you want to get toys, if you have a 100-pound dog, don't get a toy or allow him to eat on a toy that's made for a chihuahua because they'll be too tempted to just swallow the whole thing.

Of course, don't forget to keep all the tasty holiday treats out of reach. Sweets, like chocolate and candies, should not be eaten by any animal. And if you want to treat your pets to a bit of your Christmas dinner, make sure you look up what kinds of foods are safe for pets to eat.

Dogs, you should watch out for turkey bones if you're making up a turkey. The bones on turkeys and chickens can choke dogs. Some beef bones and pork bones are okay for them to have, but be cautious of that. But, again, the main thing is that chocolate. Keep your animals safe, keep yourself safe, and you'll have a much better holiday experience than if you're at the vet hospital on Christmas Eve with Fido who ate a whole plate of brownies.

If you're thinking of giving someone a kitten or a puppy as a holiday gift, think again. Any animal is a big responsibility, both financially and personally, given the amount of time you have to invest in properly caring for a new pet. You don't want to spring it on someone who isn't expecting it. Most likely, the animal won't get the life it deserves. But if you're ready for the responsibility, the Humane Society has plenty of lovable cats and dogs ready for adoption. To see available animals or to learn more about the process of adopting a pet, visit lpchumanesociety.org. Thank you for watching this edition of the Local News Network. I'm Wendy Graham Settle.


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