We can easily get carried away by the hustle and bustle of the holiday season so much that we forget things as simple as how chewing on some of our holiday plants can be dangerous for our pets.
Holly and mistletoes are known to be poisonous for our dogs and cats, but only few people are aware that the Christmas tree is also unhealthy for pets. You may spend more time worrying about your pet treating the present open or tipping the tree over, but you probably should be more worried about your pet eating the tree.
Christmas is an exciting time for humans but we can’t say exactly the same for animals especially the cats. Cats find it difficult to resist most holiday plants, and as we have any stated, most of these plans are usually poisonous. The toxicity of these holiday plants can either be mild or severe. The amount of the plant ingested also plays a role in determining how severe the poisoning will be.
The Christmas tree
The Christmas tree is only mildly toxic when compared to the holly and mistletoes. The oils of the fir tree can be irritating to the stomach and mouth, causing excessive vomiting and drooling. the needles of the christmas tree and not easily digestible thus they can cause puncture, vomiting, GI irritation, and even gastrointestinal obstruction. Even though the focus of this article is live trees, artificial Christmas trees are also dangerous for your pets when ingested.
With artificial trees, the major thing you want to worry about is intestinal obstruction and the toxins that are released by the artificial materials. As I earliest pointed out, the level of damage ingesting this plant can cause depends on the quantity your pet eats. The best bet will be to keep your pet away from your holiday tree when you are not home so you are sure it doesn’t nibble on it.
What to look out for
If you think your pet has probably chewed on any plant or nibbled on your christmas tree, monitor your animal for any change in behavior like water consumption, salivating, excessive licking, activity, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Additional tree safely concerns
While we are focused on the danger of ingesting parts of the Christmas tree, do not forget the tree water can also be a cause for concern. Pesticides, preservatives, fertilizers and other agents like aspirin are added to the tree water to keep the tree looking fresh. These chemicals may have deadly consequences for your kids, dog, or cat if they drink the water. It is safest if the water is kept closed and out of reach of pets and children.
No holiday plants is exempted when it comes to toxicity for animals. So whether they were given to you as a present or you got them for decoration, keep your pets away from your holiday plants.
Whether you keep the lights somewhere else in the house or on the tree, it can pose a hazard to curious dogs and cats. Chewing on the lights or cords can cause burns in the mouth or even electric shocks. Always check the cords of your Christmas lights to see if your pet has chewed on it or for any wear or tear.
If you notice that your pet is drooling, reluctant to eat, or showing any signs of pain in the mouth, make sure to see a vet to rule out electrical burns or any dental disease.
Some Christmas tree ornaments can also pose a threat to your pet. Ingestion of small ornaments can lead to rupture or gastrointestinal blockage depending on the material it is made from.
Be careful this holiday season and keep your pet safe.