December is one of the most joyful times of the year: the family Christmas tree is put up, the halls are decked with boughs of holly, and elves are placed on shelves. As magnificent as these decorations are, some of them can peak your pets’ curiosity, and accidents can happen. We know that your pets are a vital part of your family, so we’ve compiled some tips on how to make sure that your pet can stay safe while participating in the holiday festivities!
- The Tree
Christmas trees are a vital part of any house during the holiday season, and for good reason: they’re beautiful. And what is a Christmas tree without lights and ornaments? Unfortunately, the shiny lights and sparkling ornaments can attract your pet’s attention and can harm your pets. To prevent unwanted accidents, avoid hanging these decorations on the lowest branches of the tree. If possible, try to keep your tree in a corner or in a separate room so that your pets will not be attracted by it and be tempted to pounce on it. Additionally, if you have a live Christmas tree, make sure that you keep the area below the tree free of pine needles as the ingestion of pine needles can puncture your pet’s intestines.
- Holly, Mistletoe, Poinsettias, and Tinsel
While these holly, mistletoe, and poinsettias are fantastic additions to your home during the Christmas season, they can be extremely dangerous for your pets. Ingestingly, these plants can cause severe gastrointestinal and cardiovascular issues for your pets. Instead of using live plants, you can opt for artificial plants that look just as nice. However, we also understand that there are purists out there that would never, ever use artificial plants. If you fall into this category, just make sure that you place these decorations in places where your pet has no chance of getting to them. This advice also applies to tinsel, the shiny decoration that is placed throughout households. Tinsel is also harmful if ingested, so keep it out of reach of your furry friend!
- The Shocking Truth About Wires
With all of the lights and electronic decorations that people put up during the holidays, there are bound to be a few extra wires lying around the house. Most wires can be easily bitten through, which could result in accidental electrocutions. Avoid this problem by taping all indoor and outdoor wires to the wall to keep them out of the sight of your pet!
- Playing with Fire
Multiple holidays, most notably Hanukkah, use candles for ceremonies and as decorations. However, pets don’t know to be careful around candles and could burn themselves or even start a fire by knocking over a table. To avoid either of these occurrences from happening, follow these quick safety rules: place all candles on high, flat, and stable surfaces that your pet can’t reach or knock over, blow out all candles when you leave the room, if possible, and put grates or screens over your fireplaces to avoid burns.
- Christmas Cookie Curiosity
The holiday season brings with it a multitude of sweets and specialty foods, most of which are not safe for your pet. While you already know not to feed your pet chocolate and other sweets, remember to avoid giving your pets fatty and spicy foods! While these things smell delicious, they are bad for pets, so be sure to keep your food out of reach so that they don’t accidently ingest something that they shouldn’t!
While some of these tips take a little extra work, they can go a long way in making sure that both you and your pets have a wonderful holiday season!