One thing South Africans from all backgrounds have in common is that we usually enjoy parties, dinner arrangements, celebrations and of course the regular summer braai.

But we seldom consider our pets when hosting such events in our homes, which could result in unintended injuries and distress. So here are few tips that will go a long way in making sure the celebrations do not leave a bitter aftertaste:

*Do not feed turkey bones to your dogs. These may splinter and cut your pet’s stomach and intestines.

*Be careful with ribbons used as collars. These may be choking hazards.

*Do not over-indulge your dog with fatty leftovers. This could lead to pancreatitis.

*If pulling crackers, make sure the pets are not around as the bang is alarming and pets are hyper sensitive to this noise.

*Pick up all wrapping paper and non-degradable items, as pets eat anything and everything.

*If you own a cat, be careful of your floral arrangements. Lilies especially can be toxic.

*Cats love string and streamers as well as sparkly tinsel and fun, so watch that they do not get tangled or eat these items.

*If you are using props and large decorations, secure these so they do not fall on your pets.

*Blow out all candles if unattended. Mischievous kittens will knock and burn themselves and perhaps burn down the house as well.

*And lastly: Avoid using fireworks!