Twinkling lights, sparkling tinsel, garlands of garish colors, red flowers and delicate sparkling balls on the tree. Is there a reason not to give up on Christmas decorations? You are right. These ornaments can pose a serious risk to our pet. And although giving up the festive ornament completely can be complicated, it is worth taking into account some tips about what, how and where to put these Christmas decorations and which ones are better to avoid if we live with a dog or cat.
The Christmas tree, how to make it safe for the pet?
The dangers and accidents for dogs and cats grow during Christmas, among them, the risk of poisonings, cuts and electrocutions
During Christmas there are some additional dangers for the pet, among them, “a greater risk of poisonings, cuts and electrocutions”. A fir tree with needles (sharp leaves) is a risk, so it must be well supported to avoid falls. If it is natural, in addition, it is necessary to ensure that the animals do not drink water from the pot, since it is not strange that it contains insecticidal or fungicidal products (against fungi) that are toxic. But, in addition, the leaves are like needles, sharp and hard, so if the dog or feline ingests them, they can cause an intestinal perforation. Therefore, do not forget to vacuum frequently, as the dry needles will fall to the ground, and not only because they can be eaten by the four-legged friend, but because they can also cause injuries to their legs.
A trick to make the Christmas tree safer for your pet is to place it in a corner, instead of reserving a central and prominent space in the living room. This will remove it from your immediate sight and avoid having to pass it every moment, reducing the temptation to interact with the fir.
But if this also does not prevent the dog or cat from wanting to jump on it, you can try to cover its lower part with a plastic mesh or, better, wooden, fence or similar. This barrier will make access more difficult. And, in addition, you can place a bottle full of vegetables or any other object that makes noise: in case the friend accesses the tree, the sound will warn of their presence and danger can be avoided.
Poinsettia and mistletoe, dangerous for pets
There are plants that are toxic to cats and dogs and, among them, are some of the most characteristic of Christmas: the poinsettia and mistletoe. The general advice, and the safest, is to avoid them. But if these vegetables are part of the festive decoration of the house, it is convenient to put them away from the animal’s reach. And you have to bear in mind that its leaves and petals will fall off when they are dry, so you have to make sure that they are safely retained in a high furniture or rug. It is not strange that, even if it is placed in high places, it loses its leaves and these remain at the disposal of the four-legged friend.
The poinsettia is especially poisonous to dogs and cats, and there is a risk of serious poisoning if it is ingested. The simple contact of a cat with it is enough to generate a skin reaction. Therefore, if you can prevent the poinsettia and mistletoe from entering the house, the better.
Balls, tinsel … obstruct the intestine
Dogs and kittens, especially during their puppy stage, are curious and will naturally be drawn to bright and colorful Christmas ornaments. So it’s no wonder these friends sniff at ornaments and nibble on wires, tinsel, and even balls if they’re not being watched. Veterinarians remember that intestinal blockages from ingesting tinsel (the fourth Christmas ornament to avoid, or use with care) and other decorations are common at Christmas.
To this must be added that there are ornaments, such as balls, that leave sharp edges when they break , which increases the risk of cuts and injuries. The safest thing is not to use this type of decoration. And, if it is difficult to do without it, it is appropriate to use a mesh to prevent the pet from accessing the area where these ornaments are.
The tinsel will add a sparkling touch to the tree, but be sure to place it out of the pet’s reach. The danger is serious: if our friend swallows the tinsel, it can block its intestines and it will need to go to the emergency vet to undergo an intervention.
Lights, danger of burns and electrocution
The sixth Christmas decoration that should be avoided, or handled with great care, if we live with a pet is the lights. Their brightness and color, especially when they sparkle, are a dangerous claim for dogs and cats. Beyond their decorative appearance, these objects run on electricity, which makes them very hot. If the dog or feline approaches to play with them, it can burn itself. But it is that, in addition, the bite in a cable can suppose an electric shock.
To avoid this, disconnect the decorations with light when the pet is alone at home or is not supervised. Another added trick is to camouflage the cable under a carpet so it doesn’t nibble on it.
In addition, it is not advisable to put lights on the low branches of the fir, or in any other location that makes them accessible to the pet; This means that they must be hung in a particularly high place , in the case of cats. And it is that the friend can not only get entangled in the lights and their wiring, there is also a risk of burns and can even be electrocuted if it bites the wiring.