In the hustle and bustle of shopping, social gatherings, and holiday performances, we can often overlook the fact that our pets can be exposed to holiday risks. There is often a joy in perfectly balancing the tree-topper or going down memory lane as we unpack our holiday decorations, which is great. Just be sure to evaluate your pet’s surroundings as you decorate and remove anything that could place him or her in harm’s way.
We’ve addressed the largest concerns below and ask that you contact us with any specific questions or problems you encounter.
Deck The Halls
Before creating a magical winter wonderland in your home, take into consideration that certain holiday decorations are potentially hazardous for pets. While we certainly do not discourage holiday decorating, we recommend being careful with the following:
- Tinsel – So pretty and sparkly, yet so risky if you have a cat. If eaten, tinsel can lead to serious intestinal obstruction, potentially necessitating surgical removal. If not handled early and swiftly, tinsel ingestion can be fatal.
- Ornaments – Pets are drawn to shiny and bright objects and this attraction seemingly intensifies with dangling ornaments on the tree. Pets may jump to retrieve an ornament and break it into pieces. If chewed or swallowed, your pet may be in danger of lacerating his or her mouth, esophagus, or parts of the entire digestive system. Keep breakable ornaments up and out of your pet’s reach.
- Ornament Hooks – These pesky hooks can also get hooked into your pet’s mouth, paws or eyes. Try using ribbon or fishing twine instead.
- Christmas Lights – Electric shock is a risk for pets that like to chew. Although sometimes fatal, electric shock typically causes tongue lacerations. Check your lights for fraying or bite marks and use a grounded extension cord to be super safe.
- Candles – Pets can get too close to candles. To avoid burns on little noses or whiskers, or hot wax on precious paws, or even the risk of fire, place candles out of reach of pets, or opt for battery-powered candles instead.
Holiday Odds and Ends
After you’ve swept clear some of the items from the above list, turn your gaze to the remaining holiday culprits:
- Gift Wrapping Ribbon – Ribbon causes the same injuries as tinsel, if consumed. As presents begin to accumulate under the tree, take a daily look to hunt for any missing bows or ribbons, if any. Of course, after presents have been opened, do a clean sweep and tidy up any loose ribbon.
- Batteries – Although these seem harmless (after all, their daily use is commonplace), batteries can cause a lot of damage to a pet. Depending on the exposure of the alkaline gel, pets can develop respiratory problems, oral, or intestinal ulcers.
- Plants – Although these add a nice element to your holiday living space, please avoid holly, mistletoe, and poinsettia. If your pet eats any of these, he she may experience vomiting, diarrhea, respiratory difficulty, weakness, or even death. Lastly, while many people can’t resist a live tree, keep pets away from the tree’s water supply. It could contain fertilizer, preservatives, or bacteria that easily upset animal tummies.
Do You Hear What I Hear?
Your pet’s safety is our number one concern throughout the year – but especially during the holidays. We want your pet to celebrate joyfully with you, family, and friends. Taking the necessary steps towards a safe holiday environment will create only the happiest (and uneventful) memories.