This is my favourite time of year, the kids are decorating the Christmas tree, presents are being secretly wrapped, elf on the shelf is being dusted off, the excitement is escalating – Christmas is just around the corner! However, there are some risks that pet owners should be aware of, so keep reading our top tips for keeping your dog or cat safe this festive season.
Who knew that this festive staple in many households could pose a risk to your pet? Hopefully many of you reading this would agree that a family tradition tends to start with finding that perfect fir or pine Christmas tree every year! Whilst a real Christmas tree looks lovely the oils in fir trees can be mildly toxic but it is the water that the tree sits in that can be more dangerous. Pesticides and Fertilisers that may have been used on the tree can transfer into the water. So it is worth knowing this, if you notice that your pet has some discomfort or is acting differently and you can’t think of the source, it is always something to consider.
It is important to remember that this might be the first time your puppy or kitten is introduced to a Christmas tree with sparkly lights and shiny decorations. They have a natural curiosity so keep an eye on them and I am speaking from experience where I have had a few trees pulled over and knocked down by some playful little bundles of energy.
A few Christmas tree tips:
Location, Location, Location – away from furniture that a cat could use to climb into your tree and not where your dog likes roam.
Secure – you could consider using tape to secure the base of the Christmas tree feet to the floor or carpet.
Deterrent –a citrus spray or some lemon or orange peel might help, cats aren’t lovers of citrus scents.
Let’s start by saying that pets are curious by nature, they become less curious as they get older. Fairy lights and the movement of tinsel are irresistible to many pets, with a paw swat here and a sneaky little nibble there. We are left with a conundrum where our pets could accidentally swallow bits and pieces that can cause vomiting and diarrhoea. This is why our tinsel has now moved to parts of the tree that makes it look unbalanced but safety for our pets is the priority..
We would always recommend choosing Christmas decorations that are labelled non-toxic. However, some of the baubles and other tree decorations we use are fragile and no matter how cautious we are every year our little feline friends always find a way to knock or bump one over and don’t get me started on the chocolate decorations or candy cane sticks, no point in even considering these unless you have a very well behaved pet that wouldn’t even attempt eating them. We all know that Chocolate is a no-no for pets as it is toxic to them.
Did you know that some snow globes have been found to contain antifreeze which can be fatal to pets if swallowed? So it’s worth considering avoiding purchasing a cheap snow globe wherever you can and to place them out of reach of your cat to avoid any nasty accidents.
Unfortunately, several festive plants are toxic.
- Poinsettia – irritates the mouth and causes vomiting.
- Mistletoe – in small quantities causes stomach upset.
- Ivy – causes nausea and stomach upset when swallowed and can irritate the skin if rubbed up against.
If you think your pet may have ingested something contact your vet immediately
If you are one of the lucky few who have one, there is often nothing better than gathering around a roaring fire. Supervising your puppy or kitten is always advisable until they get used to it and to ensure they don’t get too close. When your pets get older it is the part of your house that they will claim for hours as they nap the day away.
- Buying treats made specifically for pets means that you can avoid having to protect your Christmas dinner so you can enjoy your meal.
- If you’re having guests make sure children are supervised when they are near your pet and try and create a safe space for your pet where they can escape the commotion.
- Make sure you plan to take a long walk with your dog that will tire them out and prevent them getting bored or disruptive.
- Vacuum regularly to reduce the risk of real or fake pine needles being ingested by your pet.
Wishing all of our pet loving owners a very Merry Christmas and please comment below.