We cannot celebrate Christmas without some form of a Christmas Tree. Whether it is a large, live tree or a small plastic one, or something in between, we need to have a tree to put presents under and to have a focal point on Christmas morning. But either tree can be hazardous to our pets if precautions are taken.
So whether fake or live, we need to make sure that we securely anchor our Christmas trees so they do not tip and fall on top of curious pets. With live trees, we have to make sure our pets cannot drink the stagnant tree water which contains a lot of bacteria and may contain fertilizer. Both which can cause diarrhea and nausea.
Keep weighty ornaments close to the floor so if they do fall, they won’t break … it wouldn’t hurt to train your pets to stay away from them as well. Keep lighter ornaments high up on the tree so curious pups cannot access them and place the tree away from high ledges and mantles where cats (and sometimes dogs) can jump from. Watch for fallen broken ornaments which can cut or scratch paw pads and noses. If any broken pieces are ingested, the pieces can damage the esophagus and stomach and cause a blockage which could result in surgery.
Pets have also been known to open presents before the festivities as well, so be sure to keep an eye out for that.
According to a 2010 study conducted by Churchill Pet Insurance, Dogmagazine.net reported that 79% of dog owners prefer fake trees to avoid potential dangers for their dogs and cats. And almost half of those that preferred live trees, admitted that their dogs had been injured by pine needles at least once. This injury typically was that a pine needle got stuck in their pet’s paw.
Training your dog to stay away from the tree, presents, ornaments and décor is a very good idea. This training can easily transfer to other items in the home that you would prefer your pet not to touch. Come back to this blog for more information on training your pets. You could also contact a local trainer for more immediate assistance.