Christmas means festivities, it means gifts, coloured lights, rich and fulfilling meals with friends and family… but not all that glitters is gold! It is very important to keep your wits about you when it comes to your pets, as there are hidden risks they may run. Let’s take a look at what they might be.
We all await Christmas with joy and anticipation. But what risks do our pets run during this festive season?
Candles and Christmas Lights
Lights are one of the mainstays of Christmas. They hang in the trees we decorate, run along windows, frame the fireplace and mark pathways. We all know pets are curious creatures – they have to check out anything new, so make sure you cover and isolate the electrical wires with care, as biting them can cause some serious problems. And while lit candles create a lovely cosy atmosphere with their soft light and gentle scent, they can get in the way of wagging tails or cheerful jumping and may cause singed hair or, even worse, a fire! So make sure you place your candles where the pets can’t reach them, and make sure you blow them out when you leave the room!
Christmas balls, bows, glittery decorations, strands of tinsel and fake snow can be fatal if swallowed by your pet. Be especially careful of glass balls and sharp star edges, for example, as they can cause nasty cuts. If you do use them, make sure they are well attached to the tree so that they don’t fall down. You could consider eliminating them from your repertoire, but at least keep them far from the reach of your pets!
Take great care in choosing the plants you decorate your home with this season. Poinsettias can cause skin irritation, and it’s a good idea to keep Mimi and Rex away from mistletoe and holly, which have sharp pointy leaves. Pines and fir trees are basically harmless, but both excrete sticky resin that may be hard to wash off!
Do not underestimate the damage food can do during the holidays! Much of it is fatty and salty, packed with spices and flavours, not to mention the abundance of sugar used for the desserts and snacks. All of these ingredients are hazardous to your pet. So be firm, no matter how much they beg for a bite of the pie at the tip of your fork, do not give in! And be careful of where you leave your dishes, a nimble jump and your gourmand cat will have reached her culinary goal!
Follow these few simple rules and your Christmas will truly be one of joy and peace, worth every small attention you have paid to everyone’s health and welfare!