Christmas is approaching and if you have a fur baby, chances are you are eager to include them in the celebrations. During the festivities, it’s easy to overlook some hidden dangers for our pets. The last thing anyone wants is to have an unexpected trip to the veterinary emergency room.
Christmas Tree Pet Safety Tips
- If possible, anchor the tree so it cannot be knocked over. Not only can ornaments break, but glass and debris can get caught in your pet’s’ paws. In addition, the water in the bottom can spill out and tempt your pet to drink.
- Keep lights off of the lower branches. When they are on the lower branches, your pet has a higher chance of getting tangled up in them. Their defense will be to bite the wires off of them. Obviously, your pet could get electrocuted. Additionally, many of the Christmas tree lights can cause burns.
- Place your Christmas tree in a corner. First, it keeps the tree out of the main area and hopefully out of the main focus of your pet. If you haven’t anchored the tree and your pet does jump on it while you are out, there is less of a chance of the tree toppling over into the middle of the room.
- Keep tinsel, ribbons, and other garlands out of the reach of your pet. Tinsel and shiny garland are particularly appealing to cats. If your cat does try and eat them, the tinsel and garland can get stuck in your cat’s intestine leading to obstruction, surgery, or death.
- Block the water from being accessed by your pet. The tree water is most likely full of fertilizers and other chemicals that can cause an upset stomach in your pet. It can also contain harmful bacteria.
- Clean up the pine needles regularly. Even if your pet shows no interest in eating them, they could inadvertently digest one if it is attached to their fur. Pine needles have been known to puncture the intestines causing considerable harm and even death.
- Avoid edible tree decorations such as popcorn, cookies, and candy.
Beware of dangerous Christmas plants
Adding a touch of life to your home can make it feel warm and inviting. But they can cause some harm if your pets are tempted to ingest them. It is best to keep them out of reach.
- While Poinsettias are not as dangerous as most people think, they can cause upset stomachs.
- The berries of mistletoe are very toxic. Besides severe nausea and vomiting, they can cause some fatal heart problems.
- Some types of Ivy and holly can cause vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, nausea, and in some cases severe harm. English Ivy is one of the more toxic varieties.
Other Christmas Pet Safety Tips
- Avoid burning candles wherever your pet has access. Make sure that candles are on stable surfaces that can’t get knocked over.
- If using your fireplace, make sure to use the fire screen.
- Keep your pets away while wrapping. They could accidentally get entangled and then ingest some harmful items such as ribbon or tape while trying to free themselves.
While keeping these safety tips in mind, you can have a happy and healthy pet this Christmas!