The Holiday season for most of us means the Christmas decorations come out of storage and are placed throughout our homes. Those same shiny, fragile objects that we enjoy looking also catch the attention of our pets. Cats can’t wait to climb up the Christmas tree and start batting at the tree ornaments. A fresh cut tree, from a dog’s point of view, is an indoor bathroom. Strings of Christmas tree lights or potted Christmas plants can look like a new chew toy to a puppy.
To keep pets safe during the Holiday season a few precautions must be taken. The best place to put a Christmas tree is in a room that is off limits to your pets. Any dangling decorations, like tinsel, lights and ornaments, are often too much for a pet cat or dog to resist. If tinsel is ingested by a pet, the pet is usually unable to pass it and it will become twisted up within the intestines and need surgical removal. Dogs or cats chewing on electric lights are in danger of electrical shock and/or chewing on a glass bulb and ingesting glass. Glass Christmas tree ornaments are easily knocked off by pets and can become a chew toy for pets, cutting their mouths or if ingested, present a veterinarian emergency for the pet.
Even if the glass ornaments are not chewed on, they are easily broken when they are knocked off the Christmas tree by a pet, presenting the potential danger of your pet, your children or yourself stepping on broken glass.
The entire Christmas tree can be knocked over by a rambunctious dog running through the room or tugging at the strings of lights placed on the tree. A cat climbing into the limbs of the Christmas tree can cause the entire tree to come crashing down.
For some inexplicable reason, dogs and cats like to nap under the Christmas tree. If given the chance, one of my dogs would remain lying on her back under the Christmas tree throughout the entire Holiday season. I assume it is her nod of approval or her way of claiming the tree as her territory. In any event, dogs and cats napping under the Christmas tree poses a tripping hazard for their human family members as we try to navigate through the room in the dark.
Some Christmas plants, like amaryllis bulbs and sprigs of mistletoe, are desirable Holiday decorating items for our home, they are also tasty and poisonous snacks to our pets. Be sure to place all Christmas plants out of reach of your pets. Holiday treats of people food should not be given to pets to avoid upset stomachs.
And the final pet care tip for keeping your pets safe this Holiday season: Keep the numbers of your closest emergency care veterinarian clinic and pet poison control hotline handy, just in case.