As parents to our fuzzy and furry family members, it’s our responsibility to ensure everyone, including our pets, have a wonderful holiday season. Pets are curious and will get into everything, so we need to plan ahead and keep our home environment safe for them.
If you decide to have a Christmas tree in your home, make sure it’s in a corner where your pets have limited access. It should be anchored with a secure base so it doesn’t tip easily. Pine needles are dangerous, if they fall on the floor my cats will eat them, and this is very serious. Aside from being toxic, pine needles can puncture their tiny organs. Making sure your tree is continually watered will help keep it from drying out and losing needles.
Without a doubt, my cats will also jump on or try to climb the tree. The flashing lights are like a beacon of mischief, so simplifying and keeping our lights solid will help. Better yet, do not put lights on the lower branches, your cats can get tangled in them and can burn their mouths and paws. Always make sure your lights are unplugged during the evenings and while no one is home.
Tinsel is so glittery and entrancing to the average cat. When they see it flickering and fluttering, they will try to attack it. If they should eat and swallow this festive glitz, it could potentially harm them. The long strand can get caught in their intestines and obstruct digestion. It can also cause severe vomiting and diarrhea. There are safer means of decorating a tree, some people use popcorn, but personally, I won’t even do this.
Mistletoe, poinsettias, and holly are very toxic to cats. If you have to have them in your home, keep them out of your pets’ reach or buy silk substitute decor pieces. We personally do not have any toxic plants in our home year-round.
Burning candles are another product that should sound some alarms. They may look lovely and create that festive ambience we love, but they are too much of a risk with pets around. Cats can be mesmerized by the flickering movement of the flame and can knock it over. Using flameless candles is the best solution, they are safe to touch and will not start any fires even if knocked over.
You may be amused with dressing up your pets in holiday decor, but it might be uncomfortable and binding to them. It can be dangerous to tie bells, ribbons, bows, or decorative string around your pet. Pets are not ornaments, they are living creatures and deserve to be treated with kindness.
Let’s be honest, our pets are rascals and very much like children. They get into everything and want to put things in their mouth that they shouldn’t. Pets are curious and will test out unfamiliar territory so it’s up to us to create a safe environment during the holiday season with them in mind.