Holiday pet safety tips from Human-Animal Bond in Colorado

a cavalier king charles spaniel and member of a habic team photographed at a CSU de-stress with dogs event for students
Limit stress and have a happy paw-liday season with these holiday pet safety tips from CSU.

Story by Kate Gloeckner

The holiday season is upon us! The Human-Animal Bond in Colorado center in Colorado State University’s School of Social Work has some holiday pet safety tips to help you and your family avoid the unnecessary expense of a trip to the vet, not to mention extra stress for animals and people.

Limit table scraps

It can be tempting to share extra goodies with your pets. Therefore, be extra careful about what you give them. Avoid anything with cooked bones. Cooked bones can cause choking hazards, perforated intestines, and blockages. Additionally, avoid anything with garlic, onions, chocolate, grapes, or raisins. These foods are all toxic to dogs.

No chocolate under the tree

If you put any gifts under the tree, or anywhere your pet can get to them, make sure they are pet-safe. Remember, just because they’re wrapped doesn’t mean your animal can’t smell the goodies inside. By the same token, if the contents of a wrapped gift are unknown, be proactive for your pet by keeping the gift away from them.

Keep decorations pet-safe

Avoid tinsel for the reason that it can cause serious medical issues when ingested by cats. Furthermore, monitor candles carefully because cats often jump up to places where candle flames are within tail’s reach. Tie up electrical wires. Likewise, poinsettias are another common hazardous decoration. These flowers are extremely toxic if ingested, so consider artificial plants to keep curious pets cheerful.

Banish stress

The holidays can bring lots of visitors. Consequently this creates stress for you and your animal. Make sure your pets have safe places to relax and recuperate. A spare bedroom or basement is ideal. HABIC volunteer teams know well that even animals who love people and attention need a break. Besides, your pets are in very much tune with you. If you are stressed, they will notice it. Therefore, for the sake of your pet’s safety during the holidays, take care of yourself! Schedule a massage, bubble bath, or just some time to relax. And enjoy a purr-fectly stress-free holiday season!

About Human-Animal Bond in Colorado

CSU students get a chance to de-stress with a volunteer team from HABIC (Human-Animal Bond In Colorado). October 16, 2018Founded in 1993, Human-Animal Bond in Colorado (HABIC) is a center in the School of Social Work, part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences. HABIC’S mission is to improve the quality of life for people of all ages through the therapeutic use of companion animals, with particular focus in the areas of community outreach, teaching, and research.

The next orientation sessions for anyone interested in becoming a HABIC-certified team will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 9, at Colorado State University in Fort Collins and Thursday, Jan. 10, at Denver Hospice in Denver. Please contact for details.

About the author

Kate Gloeckner is a graduate research assistant with HABIC. She is currently working toward a master’s degree in Zoo, Aquarium, and Animal Shelter Management. With a background in animal training and behavior, including a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner certificate, she has worked with companion cats and dogs, polar bears, seals, tigers, and otters. Gloeckner was recently elected by a group of her peers to attend the National Professional Science Master’s Association’s 9th annual conference in Washington, D.C. She finished 2nd place in the 5 Minute Presentation competition for her master’s project with the Denver Dumb Friends League evaluating the effect of eye contact on length of stay in shelter dogs.