In November and December every year, many houses are decorated for the season. Christmas trees, be they artificial or real, are often among these decorations and add a special touch to our homes. Unfortunately, they can also be a source of problems for our pets. Make sure your tree is well secured. Cats can often climb into trees and topple them over with the possibility of injuring themselves not to mention breaking those precious ornaments.
On the subject of ornaments, place the breakable ones higher in the tree out of your pets reach in hopes of minimizing the risk of breakage and the risk of nicks and cuts. All decorations should be nontoxic and preferably not edible. Remember dogs can smell 100 times better than we can so that edible tree ornament, even placed up high, is extremely tempting for Atticus (Ashley’s dog)! A Labradoodle was presented to an emergency clinic because she ate a gingerbread house during the holidays. Unfortunately, the house was put together with metal pins. An initial examination was performed, radiographs (X-rays) were taken, abdominal exploratory surgery was performed and 60 to 80 pins were removed from her stomach. Another case of 2 dogs in the same household that ate ornaments that were made at school from marshmallows and straight pins required emergency surgery to remove the straight pins. Luckily, all went well for all 3 dogs and they were sent home the day after their surgery and were able to enjoy Christmas with their families .
Tinsel and/or ribbon can be a fun toy, but a few minutes of fun can result in severe consequences for your cat or dog. Many times, you may not know what your pet ate until you see it coming out of its back end. And, if you do see it, never pull it out. You don’t how much or how long the foreign body is, and if you pull on it, it could tangle or tear the colon or intestines.
The electrical cord that supplies power to your tree can be hazard for some pets that like to chew with “shocking“ results that can cause much damage to the oral cavity and in the worst case death. Hide the cord if possible.
Some people add preservatives etc to the Christmas tree water. If it is accessible to pets, it may be toxic. Keep it covered.
Christmas trees are a wonderful addition to our homes and the ornaments bring back many memories from the past. Just remember to make them pet safe!
……Have a very Merry Christmas From the Team at Peterborough West Animal Hospital