Last Updated on February 2, 2023 by ellen
Have you thought about the Christmas dangers to pets that might exist in your home? Check out these unexpected dangers to be aware of.
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Christmas Dangers to Pets
You may not have considered some of the common things around your home during the holidays that could be dangerous. For example, can dogs eat pumpkin?
Animals are curious and when left alone may become bored and look for something exciting to play with. Whether you are pet sitting for a client who has gone away for a week or only leaving your pet unattended for an evening to attend a party, being aware of what they can get into is important.
Can Christmas trees make your dog sick?
Believe it or not, Christmas trees are considered mildly toxic. The fir tree oils can irritate your dog’s mouth and stomach.
This can cause excessive drooling or even vomiting. Plus, the needles are not easy to digest which can cause stomach issues. An artificial tree may be a better option.
Cat safe holiday decorations
While tinsel and ornaments aren’t toxic, they can be a choking hazard to your cat or dog. They can be very attractive as toys since they glitter and will move around if your pet jostles the tree.
If the ornaments are sharp, they can cut your pet’s mouth or paws as well. Look for soft ornaments that won’t break if they fall to the ground.
Or, look for wooden ornaments that are sturdy. Skips using ornament hooks whenever possible. Never put ornaments low enough for your pet to play with them.
Christmas lights on dogs
Many pets like to chew, and they may be tempted by your strands of Christmas lights. While it may make a cute holiday picture, wrapping Christmas lights around your pet is definitely not safe.
Pets that jump, like cats, may knock over candles and injure themselves or start a fire. Flameless candles are a safer option.
Ribbons and bows are a definite choking hazard for your pets. Once eaten, they can become twisted in their intestines and require surgery.
Please do NOT tie a ribbon around your pet’s collar or neck. Choose an accessory made specifically for pets.
What can dogs eat at Christmas?
Some foods are not safe for your pets. Chocolate can be toxic to dogs. Some nuts can cause vomiting or be toxic to animals.
Bones can splinter and cause injuries when chewed on or digested. It’s best not to give your pet table scraps. Instead, offer them treats made for them.
Treat them to their own healthy dog food, so other things don’t tempt them.
What plants are toxic to pets?
While Christmas plants are pretty, they can be toxic to animals. At the very least, they can cause an upset stomach or vomiting if eaten.
Avoid holly, poinsettias, and mistletoe. Even pine needles can cause vomiting and diarrhea if ingested by your pet.
Pet safety tips for Christmas
Once the presents have been unwrapped, be aware of what they contain.
Will that box of chocolates tempt your pet? Is there the possibility that they might eat a battery or other small part of a game?
Place these items out of the way so your pet won’t be able to get into them.
Check for Christmas dangers to pets before you leave
Before you leave your pet unattended for even a few hours, take a look around the area they have access to for Christmas dangers to pets.
If you are pet sitting for a client, take a brief walk through the home when you arrive to sit and be aware of what hazards may exist.
Close doors to rooms that may not be safe for them. Place easy things like plants out of the way when possible.
Keeping your pet safe at Christmas
The holidays should be a peaceful time to spend with friends and family. No one wants to have a pet injured during this particular time.
If you have any concern at all that your pet may have gotten into something that isn’t safe for them, immediately contact your veterinarian for their advice.
Here is some more information about people food that your pets should not eat. Be sure to use caution with these foods around your pet.
Check out these DIY holiday ideas for your pets. Make sure that your pet is part of your holiday fun. But, be certain that you’re doing it in a way that they are safe and loved.
Ellen runs a small pet sitting business in southern Vermont. She has experience with a variety of small animals, dogs and cats. She has also cared for ducks, chickens and rabbits. Combined, she has over 20 years of experience in pet care and pet sitting.