Christmas Pet Safety Tips
Before we get into these important tips for keeping our furry friends happy and healthy during Christmas, let us just say that the overwhelming majority of pets make it through the holiday season just fine with no mishaps. Having said that, there are some things you can do to prevent unforeseen pet misadventures. None of us want a trip to the emergency vet just as the family is sitting down to their Christmas dinner!
Holiday Pet Safety Tip #1 – The Tree:
Cats in particular have an unhealthy fascination with the tree, and almost every cat owner has a horror story involving their cat, the tree, broken ornaments and worse.
- Put the tree in a corner, and secure it with monofilament (clear fishing line).
- Screw a small hook to each wall about a foot down from the top of the tree.
- Tie the monofilament to the first hook, then loop it a couple of times around the tree trunk then tie the loose end to the second screw. Voila – that tree isn’t coming down without a lot of work!
Holiday Pet Safety Tip #2 – Decorations:
- If your pet is a chewer, keep the tree lights out of her reach.
- Live holly, mistletoe and poinsettia plants are poisonous to both dogs and cats, so keep them up and out of reach.
- Tinsel is beautiful, but did you know ingesting it can cause a bowel blockage remedied only by surgery?
- If you’re purchasing a live tree, keep its needles swept up. Pine needles can puncture your pet’s digestive organs and cause peritonitis which is a killer.
- Decorating your Christmas tree with edible ornaments including cranberry and/or popcorn strings, sugar cookies and gingerbread men is downright cruel and unusual temptation for both pets and toddler humans. They want to be good, but for heaven’s sake, be kind and don’t entice them!
- Finally, keep your gift- wrapping ribbon, string, decorative picks and scissors sealed in a pet-proof plastic bin. There’s a reason they say ‘curiosity killed the cat.’
Holiday Pet Safety Tip #3 – Food:
If you’re giving a box of chocolates as a gift, don’t place it under the tree. Dogs will smell right through your beautiful wrapping, and again, will be unable to resist tearing into the package when no one is looking.
You probably already know that chocolate is deadly to dogs, but did you know that grapes and raisins are, too?
Holiday Pet Safety Tip #4 – Fire:
Be careful with real candles. Here’s another true story – a friend’s Persian cat liked to lounge in the empty bathroom sink. At her New Year’s Eve party, we smelled something burning, and shortly thereafter the kitty appeared minus most of the fur on her tail. What hair she had left was left was completely singed. Martha had been burning a scented candle on the powder room vanity and well … you can fill in the rest of that story.
Check out the new battery-operated flicker candles – they’re really quite beautiful and much safer.
Wow – we didn’t mean to turn this post into a downer and we hope we haven’t ruined your holiday decorating fun. But like our parents always said, it’s better to be safe than sorry. So be safe and here is wishing you and all your family a very safe and happy Christmas!
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