Christmas, Hanukkah and ringing in the New Year are always filled with joy and excitement. However, it comes with over excitement and some obstacles for our pets. Keeping your furry friends safe during the holidays must be on your list of “ to do’s”.
There are the ornaments, plants, presents, lights and tons of fun things for our sneaky ones to get themselves into. And let’s not forget the Christmas tree, guarantee to be knocked over at least once in your household!
Please review the following reminders this holiday season to help prevent a trip to the veterinary emergency room:
1. Christmas tree: Place your tree in a corner, blocked off from your pet’s immediate view. This will help prevent a cat from jumping on a tree and a dog from knocking it over. Let’s keep your tree looking beautiful and prevent your pet from getting hurt.
2. Tinsel: Keep it at the top or higher levels of your tree. Cats love to play with these sparkly “string toys” but it can be quite deadly to a cat if ingested causing an internal blockage.
3. Lights: Don’t place lights on the lower level of the tree or below the lowest branch. Your pet may get tangled in the lights and choke or even get shocked.
4. Ornaments: These are probably the biggest danger to your pets. Your dog doesn’t understand it isn’t a ball and your cat wants to swat at it endlessly for hours. Ornaments may injure paws, mouths, or other parts of your pet’s body.
5. Live Christmas tree: Keep the area free and clear of pine needles. While they may not seem dangerous, the needles can puncture your pet’s intestines if ingested. Also please remember to keep your tree watered to prevent a fire.
6. Burning candles: They should be placed on high shelves or mantels, out of your pet’s way — A dog tail’s wagging or a cat jumping could cause an accidental fire if the candle is knocked over. Homes with fireplaces should use screens to avoid accidental burns and to keep your pets away from the fire.
7. Outdoor decorations. Keep wires taped to the wall or the sides of the house.
8. The BIG day: When unwrapping gifts, be sure to keep your pet away. Wrapping paper, string, plastic, or cloth could cause intestinal blockages. Scissors are another hazard, and they should be kept off floors or low tables.
A few minutes of preparing your home properly for your pets will prevent injury during the holiday season.
Have a Happy and Safe Holiday Season and don’t forget to spoil your pets!
Tracey Zysk, owner of Wiggles & Jiggles Pet Care in North Andover MA is a local pet care professional. She has been featured on local radio, TV and newspapers educating the general public on animal care and animal health & wellness. Tracey is a proud supporter of Police, Fire & Military K9 units and National Award winner of the Platinum PAW award. Tracey may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Become a fan on Facebook at Wiggles & Jiggles Pet Care.