Holiday Safety Tips For Your Pets
27 December, 2011

As the holidays are upon us, those of us who decorate our homes have an abundance of beautiful lights, decorations, candles, trees, and many other festive items that make our homes a little brighter.  However, while these additions to our home can be festive, they also can be dangerous to our pets. A decoration as little as a piece of tinsel or as big as the tree topper star for the Christmas tree could cause major problems if our pets chew on them.

Below are some tips to help you keep your holiday decorations safe for your pets.

WATCH THE NEEDLES ON THE TREE

If you have a Christmas tree in your house, remember that the needles can be dangerous to your pets. If your pet chews on the tree, the needles can puncture the stomach lining. Keep your tree watered and clean up the needles that fall off it immediately.

MAKE SURE THAT ALL PLANTS ARE OUT OF PETS REACH

Holly, mistletoe, and poinsettias can be toxic to your pets. If you have these in your home, place them where your dog or cat can’t reach them. It might be best to have these hanging outside on your porch or in planters where they decorate the steps if you have a very curious kitty or nosey dog.

Mom.. is this safe?

ORNAMENTS CAN BE SPRAYED (if necessary)

Ornaments on the tree are very intriguing to animals. In particular it seems cats get curious and will smack the ornaments around. This means some that are made of glass or other fragile material could break and make a mess. Dogs might try to carry an ornament and break it in their mouths. If you need to, try using a non-toxic spray that deters animals from checking out the ornaments on the tree. The spray tends to have some mix of alcohol and bitter additives that make items smell bad and taste worse to them. Avoid tinsel as cats have a tendency to chew on it and swallow it. The tinsel can cause blockages and make them very ill.

WIRES FROM LIGHTS NEED TO BE TUCKED AWAY

Keep the wires from lights, lamps, and other decorations tucked away so your cat or dog doesn’t tug or get tangled in them. Many hardware stores sell cord covers and zip ties that can help keep the wires tucked against the wall and out of the way of pets and children.

MAKE SURE YOUR PETS DON’T DRINK WATER FROM THE CHRISTMAS TREE

If your cat insists on drinking water from the bottom of the Christmas tree, you may need to find a cover to prevent her from doing so. Dirty water can make your cat ill. Your dog may also think it’s a new water bowl and could knock decorations or the tree off the stand. If you use a tree skirt, tuck it up over the opening of the stand so it covers the water and prevents your pets from drinking it. Always keep fresh water out for your pets in their water bowls to urge them to drink water from the right spot.

Have a wonderful holiday season and hope you and your pets stay healthy.

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