Saturday, December 3, 2016

Are Christmas Trees or Plants Poisonous for Dogs and Cats?

Since we’re in the middle of the holiday season, we want to focus on how you can keep your pets safe while still enjoying all of your holiday decor. In our other post on this topic, we touched on safety for electric cords and glass decorations, along with how you can keep pets from getting into any presents that may have a scent before it’s time to open them.

We also provided an explanation of why it’s best to keep pets away from a Christmas tree unless you’re there to supervise. Because there are different types of Christmas trees you can choose to put in your home during this season, we want to dig into this topic a little deeper. Specifically, we’re going to answer the question of whether Christmas trees or any other holiday plants are poisonous to pets.

What You Need to Know About Christmas Trees and Pets

If you’re interested in having a live Christmas tree in your home, you can go with this option and not put your pet in immediate danger. That being said, live Christmas trees are classified as mildly toxic for pets. The reason is they produce fir oils. And if a dog or cat consumes those oils while licking or chewing on the tree, it can irritate the animal’s mouth or stomach. That can result in excessive drooling and/or vomiting. Tree needles can present a variety of risks as well if consumed, ranging from GI irritation to gastrointestinal puncture.

It’s also important to note that artificial trees can be dangerous if a pet consumes a significant amount. That’s because toxins from the material can get released inside a pet or large pieces of the tree that a pet is unable to digest can cause intestinal obstruction.

So, what’s the best approach to take? With both live and artificial trees, the main potential danger is if a pet consumes a large amount. That’s why we continue to recommend choosing a room in your home that you can keep your pet out of whenever you aren’t there to watch out for it.

2 Holiday Plants to Watch Out For

We want to highlight two other popular holiday plants that are best to keep away from your pets. Although poinsettias are many people’s first guess, those plants are classified as non to just mildly toxic for pets. The two holiday plants that can present much more of a threat are mistletoe and holly. Both of these plants can be quite dangerous to dogs and cats. That’s why it’s best to keep these plants out of your home and decorate with other options instead. And if you ever have reason to believe that your pet has consumed mistletoe or holly, you should get to your vet right away.

While it’s important to take the potential toxicity of those plants seriously and to be strategic about where your place your Christmas tree, following the guidelines we covered is the best way to ensure every member of your household has a safe and wonderful holiday season!

Decorating for the Winter Holiday When You Have Pets

As we get closer and closer to Christmas, you probably want to fill your home with lots of holiday cheer. One of the best ways to do that is with spirited decorations. By putting holiday decor throughout your home, you can create a type of atmosphere that gets everyone really excited about all the great aspects of this season.

As a household with pets, it’s normal to want to include them in the holiday festivities whenever possible. While that’s definitely a good plan, one thing to keep in mind is your pets may have different feelings about certain holiday decorations. Instead of simply wanting to look at decorations, your pet may want to play with decorations or even be tempted to eat them. And as you may have guessed, some items can be quite dangerous if consumed.

Since this is an issue that affects countless pet owners, the good news is you don’t have to choose between filling your home with festive decor and keeping your pets safe. Instead, by following a few guidelines, you can find the perfect balance between both. So with that goal in mind, here’s what you need to know to keep your pets safe around winter decorations:

1. Christmas Tree

From specific ornaments to the tree itself, there are a number of things about this decoration that may catch the attention of a dog or cat. Keeping pets away from all of these temptations can be a challenge, especially if your pet is young. That’s why we recommend putting your tree in a room your pet can’t access unless you’re also there to supervise.

2. Electric Cords and Glass

Many different types of holiday decorations utilize electric cords. Chewing can be a danger to pets, which is why you’ll want to try keeping cords out of reach and monitor any that are accessible for signs of chewing. And if you have any ornaments or other decorations made from glass, it’s best to put them out of reach of your pet to prevent any breaks and subsequent cuts.

3. Presents

Just like all the other special people in your life, it’s a lot of fun to get presents for your pets and then open them together. If you’re currently trying to find some great gifts, be sure to take a look at our pet treats and pet care products. The one important caveat about any pet present with a smell is even if it’s securely wrapped, your pet may pick up the scent. And once that happens, they’re going to be tempted to get inside.

Because you don’t want to come home to multiple packages that are shredded open, be sure to keep any pet presents that may have a scent in a more secure part of your home until it’s time to actually open them. This is also true if any gifts for other members of your household are food products or other items with a strong smell.

By being strategic about where you place your Christmas tree, using caution with electric cords & glass decorations and securing any presents that your pets may be tempted to get inside, you can keep your pets safe while also enjoying all your holiday decor to the fullest.