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Christmas Trees and Pets: A Few Safety Tips

 While Christmas trees add sparkle, cheer, and holiday spirit to your home, there is no denying that they do have a few less-than-ideal consequences, too. Real trees disperse pine needles all over the floor and require watering; artificial trees can be a hassle to put up and take down, and you need to have adequate space in your home to store them until next year. 

These little logistical nuisances can easily be overcome, however, there is another issue Christmas trees pose. They can be a potential hazard for your inquisitive furry friends. There are several ways in which the festive trees can be dangerous for cats and dogs. We all know dogs are not very picky when it comes to what they put in their mouths, and they are likely to be tempted to inspect this new addition to the home through, well, chewing on it. A swallowed needle could obstruct or puncture the pet’s gastrointestinal tract, while the fir tree oils from a real tree could promote illness in your dog, or cause it to vomit or drool excessively. 

Related: Hilarious - Christmas Is Nigh and These Pets Are NOT Ready

Christmas Trees and Pets: A Few Safety Tips, dog

Cats, too, may try and munch on fallen pine needles and both pets may drink from the water-filled stand of a real tree. Preservatives, pesticides, fertilizers, and other agents, such as aspirin, are commonly added to tree water to keep the tree fresh. This means the water can be harmful to a thirsty pet.

It isn’t just the tree itself that can cause issues. If your pet happens to knock over an ornament, it might break and create a mess of sharp pieces, which might hurt their paws. Decorations like mistletoe and holly can be downright toxic for animals if they try to chew or eat them.  

All this sounds like a holiday house of horrors, but of course, we’re not here to dull down your holiday mood. Christmas trees and pets can co-exist safely, all you need to do is take a few safety measures.

Christmas Trees and Pets: A Few Safety Tips, cat playing with ornament
  • Use a covered tree water dish, to prevent your pet from drinking the water.
  • Avoid decorating your tree with edible or glass ornaments, but opt for unbreakable plastic ones. If you really love your glass ornaments, place them higher up, out of reach for your pet.
  • According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), it’s also wise to avoid decorating with tinsel, as its shiny surface can attract the cat.
  • When it comes to light strings, don’t place them right at the bottom of the tree, keep them higher up. Firmly tape cords to the wall or floor and check them regularly for chew marks or punctures. 
  • The most efficient thing to do, which would save you a lot of worry and monitoring of your pets, would be to put up a baby or pet gate around the tree, to discourage them from getting too close.
  • If you want to be extra careful, some pet owners anchor their trees to walls to prevent pets from tipping them over.

 

Share these tips with any pet owners you know

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