How to keep your dog safe for Christmas

Christmas is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year for many, so make sure it is by following these tips

Oh Christmas tree

Always keep a close eye on your dog or cat when they are around the tree, better yet put your tree in a room that you can close off if need be. You can also create a barrier around the tree, but this often does little to deter a curious kitten or pup.

Many cats attempt to jump into the tree which can have all types of repercussions, mainly the tree and all of its beautiful ornaments tumbling down! Make sure to anchor the tree to make it secure.

If you have a living tree make sure your dog or cat does not drink the water as sometimes the sap can be toxic to pets. In addition, many fresh trees are sprayed with pesticides, fertilizers, and preservatives, and aspirin added to the water, which can be fatal to cats and cause an upset stomach in dogs.

Tips to pet-proof your Christmas tree

  • Make sure electric cords are up and out of the way
  • Secure the tree to the floor with weights so that it doesn’t tip over if bumped or climbed
  • Place smaller ornaments towards the top of the tree
  • Have a wire from the ceiling to the top of the tree to help secure it
  • Cover Christmas tree water so your pet won’t get in it
  • Don’t add anything to the Christmas tree water like sugar or aspirin to try and prolong its life
  • Avoid angel hair, which is made of glass fiber that can cut a dog’s digestive tract
  • Place a fence or gate around the tree to deter your curious pet from poking around it
  • Don’t use tinsel if your cat likes to chew on it
  • Don’t use string to wrap your presents, cats will likely find it and can ingest it causing a severe linear foreign body
  • If you get a live tree keep the area around the tree clear of pine needles which can cause stomach upset and intestinal perforation if ingested

Christmas decorations

Here are a couple of tips to keep in mind when decorating for Christmas

  • Tinsel: Some cats are extremely attracted to tinsel which can cause a potential risk of linear foreign body obstruction.
  • Small decorations: If your pet ingests small decorations such as small Christmas tree ornaments this can lead to intestinal obstruction and may call for surgical removal
  • Christmas tree lights: Many pets have seen their day at the vets because they chewed on Christmas tree light wires. These pose the threat of electrocution
  • If you must use candles use battery-operated LED candles
  • Flowers: many flowers are poisonous to animals including holly, mistletoe, Christmas cactus, and poinsettias can cause severe reactions in some pets and mild gi upset in others.
  • While we see cute little Christmas ornaments, your pet may see their new toy. Chewing on ornaments can cause cuts in the mouth and stomach if eaten. This can cause bloody stool and usually a subsequent trip to the vets. If your pet chews on an ornament and it gets lodged in the intestines it is a good chance they will need surgery to remove it.