Pet Health, Tips

Christmas Decor Dangers

The holidays are here and like many, I LOVE decorating.  Sparkling tinsel, flickering candles, beautiful trees… As wonderful as they all are, many of the holiday decorations we all love can also be harmful to our dogs if we aren’t careful.  Here are some of the decorations to watch out for this holiday season.

Christmas trees may be a staple of the holidays, but they can also potentially cause a lot of harm. Both real or artificial, Christmas trees can cause intestinal issues ranging from upset from toxins to even obstruction.

Our youngest cat, Leia, investigating her first Christmas tree. We keep them small and off of the ground.

Tree water also has the potential to cause harm.  Live trees are often preserved with pesticides and fertilizers which could have potentially deadly side effects.  If you’re using a live tree it’s best to cover the water bowl to keep your pets (and kids!) away.

Be careful with the ornaments you put on the tree as well.  We use only shatterproof ornaments hung with twine. Breakable ornaments can easily be eaten and cause intestinal problems. Edible ornaments- especially salt dough- can potentially be deadly.  Salt dough ornaments can cause salt toxicity, which can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, seizures and even death. Ornament hooks can snag an ear or tail or even poke an eye if your pet gets too close. If ingested, they can puncture and lodge themselves in your dogs throat or intestines. I know it’s hard, but try to keep ornaments well out of the reach of your pets!

I love scented candles, but I also learned early on so do my cats.  How did I find out? Years ago one of my cats SNIFFED a lit candle!  Poor Darren (yes, I gave my pets people names even as a child!) singed his chin and burned off some of his whiskers before we could get him away from it.  Instead of not having scented candles in my house, I switched to an electric candle warmer kept high and away from all of the animals!

TINSEL.  As a lover of all things sparkly and shiny, I would LOVE to have tinsel everywhere in my house. However, tinsel can easily cause intestinal blockage with only a little bit ingested- same with other strung decorations, garlands or ribbons.  Keep anything string-like, including cords, far and away from pets.

While there are potential dangers to the Christmas holiday season, it doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun and decorate! Just be careful what products you chose and try to keep your pets in mind when decorating!



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