Keeping pets safe during the holiday

FRESNO, Calif.

When you're planning your holiday celebrations, don't forget about your pet -- animals can be intrigued by items that aren't in the home year-round.

"Try and keep things like ornaments out of reach of pets, like try to keep them higher up on the tree branches," said Betsy McFarland. "And certainly avoid giving your pet sweets and other treats that could be harmful to their health."

Betsy McFarland of the Humane Society says holiday plants like poinsettias, holly and mistletoe can be poisonous to pets. Guests may want to feed the dog table scraps from Christmas dinner -- but be mindful of small bones. And certain treats just aren't meant for pets.

McFarland said, "Chocolate is one of the key ones because it tends to be in abundance around the holidays and it can be very harmful."

As the temperature drops, pets should be indoors as much as possible. And salt and de-icing chemicals on sidewalks can irritate their paws.

McFarland said, "When you've been walking your pet out in the bad weather, it's best to kind of rinse their paws off when they come inside, so they're not licking or ingesting any of those chemicals."

And if you're giving a pet this holiday season, make sure the home is prepared for the responsibility.

If you have candles on display, place them in a hard-to-reach spot so that your pets cannot access them. Not only can pets seriously burn themselves, but knocking over candles creates a fire hazard.

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