Decorating for the holidays is always fun and festive! There are so many decorations out there, but many forget how easily our pets can get injured by these decorations. Due to the various materials, shapes and sizes, festive decor can harm our pets. Don’t get fooled by the pretty lights and the sparkles. Avoiding dangerous holiday hazards is key to having a joyous and safe holiday season. Look out for these popular pieces of decor.
The Christmas Tree
A Christmas symbol, the Christmas tree is a holiday staple decor. Coming in all shapes and sizes, Christmas trees are at risk of following over. It’s essential to anchor your Christmas tree so it doesn’t tip and fall over, causing possible injury to your pet. Securing the tree will also prevent the tree water from spilling. The water may contain fertilizers that can cause stomach upset. Stagnant tree water is also a breeding ground for bacteria, and your pet could have nausea or diarrhea if ingested. Keep your tree secured, and use a tree cover or skirt to keep your pets out of the water.
Avoid Mistletoe, Holly and Poinsettias
A lot of the popular holiday plants are toxic to pets. Holly, when ingested, can cause pets to suffer nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems. And many varieties of lilies can cause kidney failure in cats if ingested. Similarly, poinsettias also cause gastric discomfort and skin irritations if ingested or exposed to the flower’s sap. Opt for just-as-jolly artificial plants made from silk or plastic, or choose a pet-safe bouquet. These will make things equally as festive without the dangers.
Tinsel and Garland
Tinsel and garland can easily be mistaken for a cat toy. Kitties love this sparkly, light-catching “toy” that’s easy to bat around and carry in their mouths. But a nibble can lead to a swallow, which can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting, dehydration and possible surgery. It’s best to brighten your boughs with something other than tinsel. Ribbons, pet-safe beads, or even felt balls and popcorn can be a safer alternative.
Holiday Candles and Scents
To prevent a fire hazard, don’t leave lit candles unattended. Pets may burn themselves or cause a fire if they knock candles over. Be sure to use appropriate candle holders placed on a stable surface. And if you leave the room, put the candle out! In addition to fires, be aware of scented candles. Candles may be toxic to pets if made from paraffin wax, have a lead wick, or release a synthetic oil and scent. Keep candles out of reach from pets, or only burn them briefly not to irritate your pet’s respiratory tract.
Wires, wires, and more wires
There are so many lights up during the holidays. Remember to keep wires, batteries and glass or plastic ornaments out of paws’ reach. A wire can deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock, and a punctured battery can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus. At the same time, shards of breakable ornaments can damage your pet’s mouth and digestive tract. Keep these wires covered and your pets protected.
Avoiding dangerous holiday hazards is vital to give you peace of mind this holiday season.
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