Keeping your furry family members safe during the holidays can be a difficult task. There are ornaments, plants, presents, lights and (who could forget) the Christmas tree! Let’s take a look at some simple steps that will allow your pets to join in the holiday fun this year while avoiding any trips to the veterinarian.
1. Tinsel can add a nice sparkling touch to the tree, but make sure you hang it up out of your pet’s reach. Ingesting the tinsel can potentially block their intestines, which is generally only remedied through surgical means.
2. Do not put lights on the tree’s lower branches. Not only can your pet get tangled up in the lights, but they are also a burning hazard. Additionally, your dog or cat may inadvertently get shocked by biting through the wire.
3. Ornaments need to be kept out of reach, too. In addition to being a choking and intestinal blockage hazard, shards from broken ornaments may injure paws, mouths, or other parts of your pet’s body.
5. For those buying a live Christmas tree this year, keep the area free and clear of pine needles. While they may not seem dangerous, the needles can puncture your pet’s intestines if ingested.
6. Did you know holly, mistletoe, and poinsettia plants are poisonous to dogs or cats? If you normally use these plants to decorate your home, they should be kept in an area your pet cannot reach.
7. Edible tree decorations — whether they be ornaments, or cranberry or popcorn strings — are like time bombs waiting to happen. These goodies are just too enticing and your pet will surely tug at them, knocking down your wonderfully decorated spruce.
8. Burning candles should be placed on high shelves or mantels, out of your pet’s way — there’s no telling where a wagging tail may end up. Homes with fireplaces should use screens to avoid accidental burns.
9. To prevent any accidental electrocutions, any exposed indoor or outdoor wires should be taped to the wall or the sides of the house.
10. When gift wrapping, be sure to keep your pet away. Wrapping paper, string, plastic, or cloth could cause intestinal blockages. Scissors are another hazard, and they should be kept off floors or low tables.