For most pet owners, our pets are family, and we want them to be part of our holiday celebrations. But there are hazards lurking in all those holiday decorations and goodies, so check out these tips on keeping your pets safe from harm. An emergency trip to the vet would sure spoil holiday fun.
Think of your pets as curious toddlers and apply the same cautionary restraints, remembering the old adage “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Start with your Christmas tree. If possible, place it in a corner to reduce access. Since cats especially like to play with ornaments, those on lower branches should be plastic and too large to fit in your pet’s mouth. Glass ornaments are likely to shatter if knocked off the tree, and shards can cut pads and mouths. Even a wagging tail can dislodge ornaments from the tree.
Keep tinsel out of your pet’s reach. If ingested, it can cause intestinal blockage, which only surgery can remedy.
Lights are another hazard. If pulled off the tree, your pet could become tangled, and older types of bulbs can get hot and burn skin. Worse, there is risk of electrical shock if your pet chews on the wires, so keep lights out of reach.
If you have a live tree, do not let pets drink the water in the reservoir. Covering the pan with a skirt is usually a good deterrent, but for determined pets, cover the base of the tree with a large plastic pet collar – the kind used to keep pets from licking or scratching. If the tree sheds, clean up loose needles right away. If they’re swallowed, they can cause stomach upset or even punctures. Your tree could also dry out and become a fire hazard if the water bowl is empty.
Beware of toxic plants. Curious pets will investigate just about anything, and mistletoe and holly are poisonous to dogs and cats. Poinsettias can cause severe stomach upset and vomiting. Speaking of eating, edible decorations like candy canes and popcorn strings should also be kept out of pets’ reach. Sugar is never good for them, and remember chocolate can be deadly.
A few precautions can make the holidays more enjoyable for you and your pets!
If the home you’re looking for requires accommodations for pets, Colleen can help you find it! As a pet mom herself, she understands how important it can be to have a fenced yard for the family dog or the perfect spot to hide the kitty litter box. That’s part of what makes her “Your Realtor Advisor For Life.” Call her at (407) 325-2873.
*Special thanks to Pet MD for these tips.