The holidays are all about spending time with family and friends – and that includes your furry family members. However, along with all the excitement and festivities come possible dangers for your pets.
These six safety tips will help ensure your pets also have a holly, jolly holiday.
1. The Christmas Tree: Although a live tree isn’t poisonous, its sharp needles can irritate your pet’s mouth and digestive tract, that’s why it’s important to keep your pet from chewing on the branches. If at all possible, place the tree in a room that your pet can’t access or place a pet barrier around it to keep your pet away. You should also secure your tree to a wall or a window to keep it from crashing down, in the event your curious pet decides to take a closer look. The same holds true for artificial trees.
2. The Christmas Plants: Holly, mistletoe, and poinsettia plants are poisonous, however. So keep them away from pets. If you think your pet may have eaten something poisonous, you should call the animal poison control center immediately. The contact information for poison control, your veterinarian, and a 24-hour pet hospital should be easily accessible.
3. The Tinsel: Sure, tinsel is really pretty – it adds a beautiful shimmery touch to your tree. Cats, in particular, just love tinsel but it can block or puncture your pet’s intestines if ingested and surgery is the only remedy. If you want to use tinsel, hang it up out of your pet’s reach.
4. The Lights: Don’t put lights on the lower branches of your tree or anywhere else your pet can get at them. Not only can your pet get tangled up in them, some lights can overheat and burn your pet. Additionally, your dog or cat may get shocked by chewing through the wires. All wires should be kept out of your pet’s reach.
5. The Candles: If you plan to burn candles, place them on fireplace mantels or high shelves – so your pet can’t get at them. Be sure your fireplace has a screen to prevent accidental burns. A home fire alarm system is the best way to protect your family, your guests and your pets in the event of a fire.
6. The Gift Wrapping: Keep your pet in another room when you’re wrapping gifts. Wrapping paper, string, ribbons, bows, and the like can be choking hazards for your pet. Those decorative items can also cause an intestinal obstruction. Keep scissors out of your pet’s reach as well.
Happy holidays to you and your pets!
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