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Pass the potatoes and pet the dog

Animal Shelters are issuing warnings intended to keep local pets safe as the holidays unfold.

San Diego Humane Society Director of Public Relations Nina Thompson said simply reminding guests to avoid sharing food with pets is wise, however they also suggest preparing a few snack bags in advance with pet treats so friends and family have something safe to hand off to pets during gatherings.

Although the agency advises against anything with bones, skin, fat or an abundance of butter, some lean turkey is likely safe to share but pet owners should feed animals special treats at their usual bowl rather than the table to prevent future begging.

SDHS also advises pet owners to consider buying a treat-dispensing chew for dogs to gnaw on or a new catnip mouse for kitties to provide activity and distract from holiday meals.

Pet owners traveling with potentially nervous furry friends should run through a few practice sessions before embarking on a full trip, and make sure to provide treats to keep the learning situation positive.

When it comes time to travel, pets should be wearing a collar tagged with current contact information and ideally have been microchipped in case they go missing.

Once they reach their final destination, pets should be given a quiet space with their favorite, familiar belongings to reduce stress.

Chula Vista Animal Care Facility Supervisor Ashley Milo suggested pet owners take extra care to keep plants and décor out of animal reach when passing through unfamiliar homes. Milo also said sticking to a normal walking and feeding schedule, even while on vacation, can reduce pet stress.

More information on safe pet holidays is available here:

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Source: East County Californian

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