LOUISVILLE, Ky. — We love decorating for the holidays, but there are some dangers to be aware of when it comes to our furry friends' health and safety.
Here are a few tips on how to keep your pets safe around holiday decorations this year according to a veterinary expert from Pumpkin Pet Insurance and the Kentucky Humane Society:
- Electrical cords can electrocute a pet if they chew on them, so cover and hide all cords (whether for a Christmas Tree, Electric Menorah, other holiday lights, etc.) You can use cable ties and sleeves to keep light strings organized and tucked away.
- Avoid using holiday plants in your home that are toxic to pets, including holly, mistletoe, poinsettias, and Christmas lilies. Or put them out of reach where your pets can't get to them.
- Ribbon, tinsel, string, and wrapping paper can be deadly if swallowed, especially for cats. It can create a life-threatening obstruction in the stomach and intestines, so avoid using these in the house. Once gifts are opened, make sure to toss them so they are not laying around.
- Reserve the top half of your tree for glass, metal and other breakable ornaments, since broken pieces can be easily stepped on or swallowed.
- Prevent pets from drinking Christmas tree water, as it can contain chemicals and pesticides that are harmful to them.
- Keep all chocolate out of reach since it's toxic to dogs (i.e. stockings with treats, advent calendars that contain chocolate treats, Hanukkah Gelt on the counter, your grandma's old candy dish, etc.)
- Consider a safe room for your pet if you plan on having a lot of guests over for the holidays - it's okay if they're not a social butterfly
You know your pet better than anyone, so if you notice them acting strangely after you put up your decorations, it's best to be on the safe side and take a trip to the vet.
Some signs to look out for are digestive upsets, loss of appetite, and a lack of energy.