With Christmas just around the corner, you probably can’t wait to put your feet up and enjoy some snuggle time with your pets. Pets don’t pay much attention to Christmas, but they do like having us around more. However, there are a great many dangers to watch out for, so keep your best friend safe this Christmas with our handy guide.
The Dangers of Chocolate
Chocolate tastes lovely, but it’s lethal to pets. Scoffing one chocolate button might not cause too much damage, but if your pet eats a large bar of chocolate or gobbles down a box of chocolate liqueurs, you need to get him to the vet immediately. Chocolate contains Theobromine. This is lethal to dogs, cats and other pets, so keep sweet treats locked up and don’t put chocolate decorations on the tree.
Be careful about what you put on the tree. Dogs in particular are prone to chewing, so a sparkling Christmas bauble hanging from a low branch is likely to be seen as fair game to a bored dog. Glass baubles will splinter and cause all kinds of damage and smaller baubles could cause an intestinal blockage. Tinsel is popular with cats and many felines love to eat it, so keep it out of reach of avoid it altogether.
Christmas is a time when we hang lights everywhere. This means cables are left trailing all over the floor and well within reach of a curious pet. Since cats, dogs, rabbits and other small pets like to chew wire they may be electrocuted. To avoid any nasty shocks on Christmas morning, connect all lights to a circuit breaker.
Real or Fake Tree Trouble
Real fir trees shed pine needles. These can get stuck in lips, sensitive noses, paws and cause intestinal issues. Try and sweep up fallen pine needles as often as possible. Pinesap is also poisonous, so don’t let your pet chew on a pine tree. Fake Christmas trees are not much better, as plastic pine needles can cause a gut blockage if eaten in large quantities.
Decorative Christmas plants make beautiful table centerpieces, but some of them are highly toxic. Poinsettia is a classic example of a Christmas plant that can kill, but be very careful if you bring mistletoe, holly and amaryllis into the house over the festive holidays. If you do decide to hang a decorative wreath at least position it well out of reach of curious pets. For more information about toxic plants, visit www.petconsider.com.
Pets love leftovers, but giving your special pal a turkey bone is a bad idea. Once cooked, turkey and chicken bones become brittle and can splinter when chewed. This will lead to intestinal problems and a hefty vet bill for the New Year.
Christmas is often a time when the house is full of guests. This can be difficult for sensitive animals to deal with, so provide a safe place where your pets can go if they prefer being out of the way.