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.
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.
Share these tips with any pet owners you know