It's the season to celebrate, but keep in mind that your pets would really rather stick to their routine. As you're cooking, decorating and entertaining, be careful to keep your dogs and cats out of harm's way. Here are some pointers. Times staff, wires
• Burning candles should never be left unattended. An unsuspecting wag of a tail and your pet could be burned or start a fire.
• Don't leave bags of trash around, especially with food scraps, as pets can rummage around and help themselves to harmful snacks.
• Wrap and store all turkeys and hams and other foods after you are finished eating so they won't tempt your pet to jump up on the counter when you're not looking.
• Don't be tempted to give your pets leftovers, as human food may make them sick and bones could lodge in their throats.
• Never let your pet drink alcohol or coffee. Alcohol can cause serious intoxication in animals. Clean up glasses after holiday parties to prevent accidental ingestion.
• Do not feed your pet bones from your holiday cooking. Poultry bones tend to split easily and can cause severe pain and punctures if swallowed.
• Avoid other toxic foods: dark or baker's chocolate, sugar substitute Xylitol, macadamia nuts, avocados (for birds), yeast bread dough.
• Be aware of toxic plants by checking out www.aspca.org and going to the Animal Poison Control page. You can find a complete list.
• When New Year's Eve comes, don't toss confetti or streamers around if you have pets in the room, as they might ingest them and get sick.
• Put medication away in a secure place. Many people keep their medications in daily pill minders, their luggage or even leave it lying out when staying with family or friends.
• Holiday guests and activity can be very stressful and frightening to pets. Make sure your pet has a safe place to retreat to inside the house when there are visitors.
• Make sure that when guests are visiting your home they are careful not to let your pet escape out the front door. Put a sign on the door to remind guests who might not remember to keep the family pet inside. Make sure your pet has proper identification and always keep him on a leash when out and about.
Sources: petsource.org, Washington Post, Doggone Purrfect Pet Care