Local humane society gives tips on pet safety for the holidays

Human food should not be given to pets

ENCINITAS, Calif. - Pets may want a spot at your Thanksgiving table, but they're better off feasting on meals more suited to them, a spokesman for the Rancho Coastal Humane Society in Encinitas said Thursday.

"The best thing is to not even start giving people food to your pets," John Van Zante said. "If you offer, of course they'll take it. We need to be responsible for our pets during the feast, even if we make poor decisions for ourselves."

Pets should be provided their normal fare and kept out of the kitchen, he said. And guests should be told not to sneak human food for animals, because it is often too rich or spicy for their digestive systems.

Turkey bones are no-no. They're hollow and can splinter and lodge in a pet's throat.

Animal fat, candy or desserts, alcohol, cider or sparkling water can also cause problems for pets, Van Zante said.

Plastic wraps and roasting bags that may smell enticing should be put in a secure garbage can, he said, to keep pet from trying eating them and possibly choking.

Cats on counters or tables are a recipe for disaster. Aside from leaving paw prints in your pumpkin pie, they could step on a hot stove top or overturn a hot dish that scalds them.

"It's not worth the risk," Van Zante said. "Curiosity really can kill the cat."

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