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Decorating for Christmas

Can you spot the decoration that is not supposed to be there? (Hint: cat face)
Can you spot the ornament that is not supposed to be there? (Hint: cat face)

This weekend is when we decorate for Christmas at our house.  We use an artificial tree that doesn’t bring a tantalizing scent into the house like a real tree would do.  The base is attached to a large flat board, making it more difficult to tip over.  That anti-tipping base and lack of scent make it safer for our pets.  And because the tree is artificial, there is no liquid in the base that could contain chemicals harmful to our furry friends if ingested.

     We have learned NOT to use tinsel – somehow pets manage to grab pieces of it and eat it, making for very festive poop and litter boxes, but also dangerous for their internal systems – it can cause lacerations and even internal obstructions which could be deadly.  We also don’t use ribbon or string on the tree.

     We are careful to cover any power cords or extension cords that a pet might play with or even chew on, so they won’t pull the tree down or get electrocuted by biting into a live electrical cord.

     The ornaments on the tree can cause more problems than the lights.  We don’t use many of the shiny, glittery glass ornaments, and none on the bottom half of the tree. Dogs play with them as though they were balls, finding out only too late when they bite down that they’ve made a big mistake.  Cats like to knock them off the tree and bat them around.  Even the ornament hooks themselves could become caught in a pet’s mouth or even its digestive tract.  The result could be an emergency trip to the veterinarian to treat serious cuts on a cat’s feet or in a dog’s mouth, or to surgically remove a hook or shard of broken ornament.

Safety for your four-footed friends is an important consideration when putting up Christmas decorations.  Unplug the lights when you are not at home, and make sure your pet is supervised when it is in the room with the tree.  Preventing accidents can help to ensure a Merry Christmas for everyone, especially when you’re speaking of pets.