Christmas is a time for families and many families include pets, but pets and Christmas aren't always a good combination.
 
Kelcy Travis is president of the Drumheller and District Humane Society, which is asking people to think twice about giving an animal as a gift.
 
"Really think it through: make sure it's going to be a lifetime commitment and it's not just an impromptu Christmas gift," she advised. "Lots of times after Christmas, there's animals being surrendered that people have gotten as a gift and maybe it wasn't the right match for a person or they weren't expecting an animal."
 
Let's say you already have a pet like a cat. How do you keep it from attacking the tree and other Christmas ornaments?
 
"Sometimes people put them in an area of the house that the animal doesn't have access to or a corner that isn't as accessible, and I've heard of people having some sort of barrier around their tree," Travis noted. "Also, try not to use tinsel because if a cat or dog eats it, it can be really damaging for their insides."
 
Many people go away for the holidays. Dogs can't stay by themselves, but Travis says even cats shouldn't be left alone for too long.
 
"Cats are more independent, they can be more solitary, but you still have to check in, especially if you have Christmas decorations up and stuff like that in your home," she told 99.5 Drum FM. "It would be important for someone to check in, if not every day, every other day, I think."

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