Festive decorations, tempting foods, and heaping piles of presents are just a few of the things that make the holiday season special. But while these Christmas staples are pleasing to humans, they can pose unique dangers to household pets. So as you go about decking the halls, trimming the tree, and whipping up tasty treats, keep the following pet safety tips in mind:
- When decorating your home with traditional Christmas plants such as mistletoe, poinsettia, and holly, keep them off the ground and well out of the way of pets. These plants and their leaves/berries are toxic to dogs and cats, and may cause mild to severe vomiting, diarrhea, and other intestinal problems if eaten.
- Cover or hide any extra electrical cords used to power holiday lights, moving figures, and similar decor, especially if your pet is a chewer. Pets can receive electrical shocks or tongue lacerations if they break through the outer coating and expose the internal wires of electrical cords. (If you can’t keep cords out of reach, we carry the CritterCord Cord Protector at CozyWinters.com.)
- Beware of placing shiny ornaments or long strands of tinsel on the lower branches of your Christmas tree. These items can be very alluring to curious pets, but are a serious choking hazard.
- Do not leave burning candles unattended in any room. It’s all too easy for a dog or cat to burn its whiskers, tail, or paws while passing by or inadvertently knock over a candle and perhaps start a fire.
- Refrain from giving your pet holiday treats containing chocolate, certain nuts (including walnuts, almonds, and macadamia nuts), and raw eggs or nutmeg (think eggnog), all of which can cause a variety of health issues ranging from upset stomach to tremors, seizures, and abnormal behavior.
- Do not allow pets to play with gift wrapping accessories such as ribbons and bows since these items can cause intestinal blockage if swallowed.
- If traveling with your pet, make sure they are kept secure while in moving vehicles.
The holidays are a time for celebrating with family and loved ones, including pets. If you have dogs, cats, or other furry creatures in your home, take extra care to keep them safe amidst all of these seasonal hazards.