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Peterborough West’s Christmas Decorating Tips

December 16, 2013

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. For a comprehensive guide on keeping your pets safe during the entire holiday season, check out our article on “Holiday tips!“. Now, let’s focus on Christmas decorating safety. 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

If you ever suspect your pet has ingested something harmful or is experiencing a medical emergency, don’t hesitate to seek immediate help. Learn more about our Emergency Veterinary Care services, which are available when you need them most.

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!

Our Advice on Christmas Decorating

How can Christmas trees pose a risk to pets, and how should they be secured?

Due to their curiosity and playful nature, Christmas trees can pose risks to pets. Cats may climb and topple them, risking injury and ornament breakage. Dogs might chew on branches or decorations. To mitigate these risks, secure the tree firmly in a sturdy base. Avoid placing it near furniture that pets can use to climb. Consider using a pet barrier or placing the tree in a less accessible area. Additionally, opt for pet-safe decorations and avoid using tinsel or small, breakable ornaments that can be ingested. Regular supervision is also vital in ensuring pet safety around Christmas trees.

What types of decorations are safest to use around pets?

The safest decorations to use around pets are non-breakable and non-toxic items. Opt for plastic or fabric ornaments instead of glass, which can shatter and cause injury. Avoid tinsel and ribbons, which can be ingested and lead to intestinal blockages. Edible decorations should be avoided to prevent temptation. Ensure electrical cords are out of reach to prevent chewing. Using pet-safe plants and avoiding those that are toxic to animals is also crucial. Securely anchor your decorations to prevent pets from knocking them over or playing with them.

What precautions should be taken with Christmas tree water to ensure pet safety?

To ensure pet safety with Christmas tree water, covering the water basin is essential. Many tree preservatives, pesticides, and fertilizers used in the water can be toxic if ingested by pets. Use a tree skirt or a cover to block access. Alternatively, opt for a pet-safe tree stand with a covered water reservoir. Continuously monitor the water level and quality, ensuring it’s free from harmful substances. Regularly check that the cover is secure to prevent pets from drinking the water, as plain water can harbor bacteria over time.

What general advice is offered to make holiday decorations pet-safe?

To make holiday decorations pet-safe, use non-breakable ornaments and avoid tinsel, which pets can ingest. Place fragile decorations out of pets’ reach. Secure trees and avoid edible ornaments that tempt pets. Keep electrical cords hidden or covered, as pets may chew them. Choose pet-friendly plants and avoid those that are toxic to animals. Regularly check decorations for loose parts or damage. Supervise pets around decorations and consider barriers to restrict access to certain areas. These precautions allow you to enjoy festive decor while keeping your pets safe.

Who can pet owners contact for more information on pet safety during the holidays?

Pet owners should consult their local veterinarian for more information on pet safety during the holidays. Vets can provide tailored advice based on the specific needs and behaviors of the pet. Additionally, animal hospitals and pet care websites often offer resources and guides on holiday safety for pets. In urgent situations, emergency veterinary clinics can be contacted. Pet owners can also contact animal welfare organizations for general safety guidelines and tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable holiday season for their pets.

……Have a very Merry Christmas From the Team at Peterborough West Animal Hospital

Contact us, your local animal hospital in Cavan Monaghan, ON!