Keeping Pets Safe for the Holidays


How to Deck Your Halls And Keep Your Pet Safe

It’s that time of year again! Time to deck your halls and don your gay apparel. Nothing says hello to this wonderful time of year more than turning on some holiday tunes and dragging out all your great decorations. Festive wreaths, ornate seasonal centerpieces, trimming the tree with lights and tinsel, are all part of a joyful holiday time tradition.

But if you have a pet at home you may not be aware of the hidden hazards that lurk in some of these traditional decorating items. A holiday wreath can lead to a little curiosity that ends in a deconstruction in little time flat. And while you might not be worried about a few things getting ruined, you will want to consider that tree lights, mixed with a nibble-loving pet, can lead to electrocution and death.

Let’s take a close look at what you may want to reconsider as you set about decking your halls.

Those Yummy Holiday Treats

While the holidays may feel like a tempting time to throw a little tasty treat in your pet’s food dish, be extra careful about what you pass along. And if your favorite relative came to visit with a fresh fruitcake, you won’t want to leave table scraps like this lying around either. Here are some things to avoid: chocolate, grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, and the sugar substitute, xylitol.

Say No To The Mistletoe (and the holly!)

Contrary to popular belief, the poinsettia is not the most toxic holiday plant there is, but it can cause some mild discomfort like nausea and vomiting. The two most common holiday plants known for their toxicity are the holly plant and a yuletide favorite, mistletoe. Consumed in large quantities, these two plants can be lethal for your pet. There’s a few more you’ll want to avoid having around this season, they are lilies, daffodils, and the flowering Amaryllis.

About Those Holiday Lights

For any pet that loves to chew, holiday lights can be a deadly matter. Pets that chew through cords can be electrocuted. Additionally, frayed and damaged wires from pet chewing can pose a fire hazard in your home. Further reduce the risk posed by Christmas tree lights by following Redfin’s suggestions to get rid of old lights, limit the number of light strands in each outlet, avoid using indoor lights outdoors, and never leave your lights on unattended.

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree...

If you plan to buy a live tree for the holidays and you have a pet that enjoys lapping up water from all types of sources, you need to make sure to keep the water covered. Chemicals from fertilizer that were used to grow the tree can transfer into the water, and this is toxic for your pet.

And if you have a cat or a new pup, and a tree, well that can be an interesting matter. Cats love to climb trees, and the ornaments are nothing but hanging toys for either pet. You’ll have to be extra creative to find ways to keep curious pets at bay, such as eliminating ornaments on the bottom of the tree. One last thing, don’t do tinsel or glass ornaments. Pets love to eat tinsel and should a glass ornament fall and be ingested, you’ll be spending your holiday in the pet ER.

Dreaming By The Fire

When you start your fireplace this year, there’s a few things to keep in mind. A wood-burning fire can send hot embers shooting out as it burns, and hot embers and fur don’t mix. Make sure you have a fireplace screen to avoid this. And if you have a more curious pet, say a new pup, you make want to consider gating off the entire area. Fireplaces can be hazardous even if they’re not burning, as ashes could be ingested causing illness.

A trip to the emergency vet clinic won’t be a great way to enjoy the holiday season, not to mention it’ll bust your holiday budget. So take some precautions to make sure you’re keeping your four-legged friends safe. Once you’ve wrapped up on this joyful decorating tradition, light your screen-protected fireplace, and enjoy a good snuggle with your pet over some holiday tunes. Happy Holidays!

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