Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Pets and Christmas Trees

Sometimes the most behaved dog/kitty can succumb to the temptation of a Christmas tree! Make sure you minimize or eliminate the risks:

Real Tree Needles: Keep them swept up! Don’t let your pet chew or swallow fallen tree needles. They are mildly toxic depending upon your pet's size and how much gets swallowed. Fir tree oils will likely irritate your pet’s mouth and stomach, causing vomiting/drooling. Tree needles also can obstruct or puncture the gastrointestinal tract. So, keep them picked up and supervise your pet around the tree!

Water: What do you water your real tree with? Preservatives, pesticides, fertilizers and other things, such as aspirin, are commonly added to tree water. Treated water can be harmful to your pet, so make sure the water that the tree sits in stays covered!

Lights: Dogs and cats who gnaw on electrical cords and lights can receive electric shocks and mouth burns.

Ornaments: Skip the edible and glass holiday ornaments! Swallowing an ornament also can cause gastrointestinal blockage. Some ornaments may be lethal depending upon the materials or chemicals used to create them. So much is made in China and could contain dangerous materials. Again, supervise your pets!

Hooks: Skip the hooks! Use ribbon, yarn or twine to hang the tree ornaments If swallowed, the hooks can lodge in your pet's throat or intestines.

Tinsel: Just say no to tinsel! If swallowed, it can block your pet's intestines--causing decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy. Surgery is often necessary to remove the tinsel. Tinsel is very tempted to kitties.

Artificial trees: Be extra vigilant if you use an artificial tree! Small pieces of plastic or aluminum can break off and cause an intestinal blockage or mouth irritation if ingested by your pet. You might want to gate off the tree, or set it up off of the floor so that your pet is less enticed. There are many decorate wooden pet gates available nowadays. We hang the dog's stockings off the gate that sits in front of the tree. Be safe this holiday!

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