5 Safety Tips for Your Pet’s First Christmas

  • October 10, 2013
  • By Dr Mark Perissinotto
  • 0 Comments

During the holiday season, keeping your 4-legged family members safe is not an easy task, especially your first Christmas together. After all, there are lights, presents, plants and ornaments to think of. This is without even mentioning the Christmas tree! There are a few things you can do to create a pet-friendly holiday season to avoid any potential emergency room trips for your pet.

Screen Your Fireplace

This holiday season; avoid any accidental fireplace burns by positioning a screen in front of your fireplace. In the same line of thought, place candles high above mantels or shelves that your pet’s wagging tail cannot reach.

Ornaments

No matter what, it is a bad idea to use popcorn or cranberry on a string as tree ornaments. For your pet, goodies such as these are simply irresistible and they won’t be able to resist tugging on them, which could potentially knock down your spruce filled with wonderful décor.

Christmas tree Safety

Your pet, whether he is a dog or a cat, will most likely want to either climb or attack your Christmas tree the first time they lay eyes on it. To prevent this from happening, what you can do is to place plastic drink bottles filled with odds and ends or aluminum foil to create noise on the bottom limbs of the tree. Noise tends to discourage pets after a few attempts, protecting both your tree and your pet from danger.

Holiday Health Hazards

There are a few holiday plants including poinsettia, mistletoe and holly that can poison cats or dogs. Keep these in areas inaccessible to your pet if you must have them around this season. Also, you might benefit from knowing that a live Christmas tree’s pine needles that shed are able to puncture the intestines of your pet when ingested. For this reason, keeping the area clear and free of pine needles at all times is essential.

High Lights

When putting up Christmas lights on your tree, ensure that you don’t put any on the lower branches. These can cause your pet to get tangled up and inadvertently bite the wire, which potentially causes electric shock. Paws may also get injured by ornaments that are within your pet’s reach. Just as you would child-proof your home, pet-proofing this Christmas will save you heaps of trouble that could arise when pets and Christmas balls are in the same room.
Of course, all the fun is in the decorating. Go ahead and spruce up your home this Christmas season, making sure to keep it simultaneously safe for your pet.

Mark Perissinotto has been a practicing veterinarian for over 20 years, 14 years of which he was the owner and principal of a busy multi-vet mixed animal hospital. One of the two co-founders of Vet Shop Australia, graduated from the University of Queensland with Bachelor of Veterinary Science and one of the best retailer of pet supplies Australia.  

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