The holiday season is a joyous time for family and friends to get together over delicious meals and happy celebrations that make for lasting memories. But certain things people enjoy so much this time of year can be dangerous for pets.

The SPCA of Texas recommends these tips to make your pets’ holiday season fun and safe:

Take caution during meal time, and do not feed pets bones from any type of fowl. Bones from traditional holiday fare such as cooked turkey, goose, chicken or duck are extremely dangerous, as they can splinter and puncture internal organs or choke an animal to death. To be extra safe, keep a lid on trash containers.

Protect your dog or cat from foods that are too high in fat for them, or chocolate that your dog or cat shouldn't have. Other foods – such as onions, grapes, alcohol and coffee – can cause anything from a bad tummy ache to choking to poisoning.

After eating all those delicious holiday meals, take regular walks with your pets to keep them (and you) happy and healthy.

The holidays can be a very busy time for many families so make your pets feel extra special by scheduling play dates with their favorite friends or take them to your local dog park so they can enjoy the cool, crisp weather.

Whether from candles or from the fireplace, a fire can be a serious hazard to your pet. Keep candles up high and put a screen over the fireplace.

For the benefit of your guests, remind them that you have a pet, especially if your pet is a “door dasher.”

Make sure your pets are spayed or neutered, and keep updated tags on your pets at all times. The SPCA of Texas also recommends having your pets microchipped to help them find their way home.

To make an appointment to have your pet spayed or neutered, or to get them up-to-date on vaccinations, please call the SPCA of Texas at 214-742-SPCA any time between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For more information, visit the SPCA of Texas on the web at or call 214-742-SPCA (7722).