Take care of those who take care of us

Some of the things that humans find best about the holiday season are not great for other animals.

From making sure pets aren’t left out in the cold to avoiding poisons, the Paws Along the River Humane Society is asking that people be mindful of their pets.

Holiday treats that contain chocolate and various artificial sweeteners are poisonous to dogs, Animal Care Technician Michele Bova said. “Poinsettias are very poisonous to cats.”

Pennsylvania law limits the amount of time a pet may be left outside when the temperature is less than 32-degrees Fahrenheit to 30 minutes, according to Executive Director Karen Kolos.

Exposure to freezing temperatures can lead to illnesses, frostbite, circulation problems, and death, according to information provided by the humane society through Elanco.

Candles and fireplaces add aesthetic and literal warmth to an environment — and pose potential trouble for animals. Those who put out candles are asked to locate them with their pets in mind. They also ask that people provide access to cooler spaces for an animal that might overheat.

Some pets do not react well to visitors and hustle and bustle. They might be more comfortable with a quiet, familiar spot to get away from the activity. That is especially true around New Year’s celebrations — which are more likely to be noisy.

Those going away for the holidays should make sure their pets’ vaccinations are up-to-date, whether pets are going along for the ride or are being boarded.