ENCINITAS, Calif. — With the holidays upon us, the safety of family, friends and even pets are essential in order to enjoy the festivities.

The Rancho Coastal Humane Society advises pet owners to keep an eye out when hosting parties.

“Pets can run away on Christmas day and New Year’s Eve,” RCHS spokesman John Van Zante said. “There’s a lot of noise, guests come and go, and there are plenty of opportunities for pets to do a ‘door dash.’ Pets just want to be safe. A frightened pet can easily slip out the door and run down the street. When they get out, they’re in unfamiliar territory, so they keep running until they’re lost. Keep them inside. Keep them safe.”

The Encinitas animal shelter, located at 389 Requeza Street, compiled a list of tips to keep your pets safe this holiday season:

  • Provide them with a crate and storing them in a safe place
  • Make sure they have pet food and water
  • Keep pets away from trees, packages, flames and holiday decorations
  • Be aware of “door dashing” as guests arrive and leave
  • Remember to give them “potty breaks”
  • If you head out during the holidays, leave the TV or radio on at home for the pets
  • Ensure your pet is micro-chipped and the registration is up to date
  • Ask before taking your pet to another home

For those receiving puppies or kittens as gifts, Van Zante reminds owners to get them into a routine of consistent behavior, adding that holiday activities can jeopardize the training.

“Your guests will be there for a few hours, but your kitten or puppy will be with you for many years. Ignoring your pet’s routine or allowing guests to teach it bad habits can change the rest of its (and your) life. Keep your best friends…animal and human…safe this holiday season,” Van Zante said. 

Anyone interested in adopting a pet can call RCHS at 760-753-6413.