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Keep Your Christmas Tree Safe from Your Cat (or Dog)

Image by Myshun from Pixabay

This holiday season is a bit different. Everyone is challenged because of Covid-19. Many of us have to be separated from our families. We want to keep all of the humans safe but we also want to keep our fur babies safe. Lets stay out of the hospital and the vet clinic this holiday! Here are some great guidelines to keep your pets safe around your Christmas tree.

Safety Around The Christmas Tree

The Christmas tree can be beautiful and a giant safety hazard. Here are some guidelines to keep your tree upright and in tact.

Tree Dangers

  • Falling Over: You never think your tree is going to fall over until it does. One year we bought a big tree. It was about twice as tall as we normally get. We had moved into a new house and it could fit a really tall tree. We didn’t realize that a really tall tree needs a different stand than an average size tree. So the tree kept falling over. This is dangerous for so many reasons: 1. It can cause injury to your pet, your kids, or you. 2. It is a fire danger. 3. It could damage something in your house. Make sure your stand is the right size for your tree.
  • Eating the tree: I know it sounds gross but pets love to chew on Christmas trees. It is like when they go into the backyard and chew on plants. Eating the plants is a natural behavior, and in some cases can help digestive issues. But the Fir tree’s, aka. Christmas trees, are not a tree that will help make their tummies feel better. In fact, they will do the opposite. If your pet chews on the tree they may get stomach irritation, vomit, or have diarrhea. 
  • Tree Water: Cats are the biggest culprits of drinking tree water. For some reason they just love it. But tree water is not like tap water, even though you put tap water in your tree stand. Once the base of the tree goes into that water it can release potential hazardous chemicals into the water such as pesticides, preservatives, or fertilizers. It is also common for people to put aspirin into their tree water to help prolong the life of the tree. But even that little amount could be too much of a dosage for your pet and could make them very sick. 

String and Tinsel

We love to put string, tinsel and ribbon on the tree and your pet loves that you put them on. To them they look like wonderfully sparkly toys to play with and chew on. Swallowing string and tinsel can cause serious gastrointestinal problems, so make sure they are either secured firmly to the tree or out of reach of your furry friend.

Christmas Lights

Christmas lights set the mood for the whole season. But do you remember that scene from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation when the cat bites the string of lights? Well, as funny as the scene in the movie was, in real life it is not so funny. Cover any wire on the ground with a wire cover (tape will work) to keep exposed wire covered so your dog or cat cannot chew on it.

It is a good idea to simply keep your pets away from the tree. Chewing on it, drinking the water, climbing into it, eating the decorations, chewing on wires, eating wrapping paper, getting caught on ornament hooks, breaking glass ornaments, are just some of the easy to list dangers. The list goes on and on. If you need to, put your tree in a room where your pets can’t go, or put a fence around your tree to keep them away from it. 

At any time if you think your pet has eaten something to make them sick, been injured in any way, it is better to call your Albuquerque veterinarian and get them checked out immediately.