From tree-lighting ceremonies to tours of neighborhood home displays, decorating is a huge part of the holiday season.
While decorations add to the holiday spirit, they can also add to veterinary care bills. Many decorations can pose hazardous threats to our beloved dogs and cats, who can find them just as interesting as we do.
Cats are notorious for causing headaches with Christmas trees. Cats love to climb, and a Christmas tree offers loads of branches to scale. Making sure your tree is anchored securely can prevent it from toppling, should the cat attempt to climb.
Pets should be kept away from the water in Christmas tree stands to prevent exposure to bacteria, which loves to grow in standing water.
Holiday lights are beautiful, but can be harmful to pets. Candles left unattended can be knocked over by our playful companions, leading to burns or even fires. Electric lights carry risks as well. Besides receiving a potentially life-threatening electric shock, cats and dogs can sustain severe burns to their mouth and esophagus from chewing on light strands.
When decorating the tree, keep your pets in mind. Delicate glass ornaments may be beautiful, but can be easily broken, leading to cuts on paws and in mouths, and ornaments with small pieces or strands can cause intestinal obstructions if a pet decides to chew them. Making sure ornaments are out of reach of pets can prevent potential illness or surgery.
While tinsel is a beautiful addition to the tree, it can be very harmful for cats. The shiny appearance of tinsel is a magnet for cats, who can swallow it, leading to intestinal obstruction.
Several plants can pose a risk to dogs and cats. Holly, Mistletoe and Poinsettias can cause gastrointestinal upset, in addition to other health problems. Lilies are toxic to cats and can cause kidney failure.
So, while shopping for new decorations, or setting out ones from years past, it’s important to remember our furry companions. Keeping pets in mind when choosing decorations can ensure your home is beautiful, and safe, during the holiday season.