Here are some tips:
Securely anchor your Christmas tree so it doesn’t tip and fall, possibly causing injury to your pet. This will also prevent the tree water — which may contain fertilizers that can cause an upset stomach — from spilling. Tree water is a breeding ground for bacteria, and your pet could end up with nausea or Diarrhea.
Avoid mistletoe and holly. Holly, when ingested, can cause pets to suffer nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems. And many varieties of lilies can cause kidney failure in cats if ingested. Opt for just-as-jolly artificial plants made from silk or plastic or choose a pet-safe bouquet. Poinsettias are mildly toxic, according to the ASPCA, but their level of toxicity to dogs and cats is sometimes overstated. But they can irritate the mouth and stomach, sometimes causing vomiting.
Cats can mistake tree tinsel for a toy they can bat around and carry in their mouths. But if they swallow it, the tinsel can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting, dehydration and possible surgery. Wrapping paper, ribbons and string can also cause intestinal blockages.
Don’t leave lighted candles unattended. Pets may burn themselves or cause a fire if they knock candles over. Be sure to use appropriate candle holders, placed on a stable surface. And if you leave the room, put the candle out. Homes with fireplaces should use screens to avoid accidental burns.
Keep electrical wires, batteries and glass or plastic ornaments out of reach. Don’t put lights on the tree’s lower branches. A wire can deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock if bitten or could be a burning hazard if tugged on, and a punctured battery can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus, while shards of breakable ornaments can damage your pet’s mouth and digestive tract.
Edible tree decorations such as popcorn or cranberry strings “are like time bombs waiting to happen,” PetMD warns. “These goodies are just too enticing and your pet will surely tug at them, knocking down your wonderfully decorated spruce.” Artificial snow that can be sprayed on Christmas trees may be toxic.
Sources: PetSafe.net and PetMD
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