Here are a couple more reasons why pet owners should be careful when putting up their holiday tree this year! This is the continuation of the blog posted Tuesday, November 29th.
1. Ornaments – Glass and porcelain ornaments often pose the greatest threat to pets due to the fact that they are typically easily broken when dropped or chewed on. Another problem with such ornaments is that they may resemble familiar pet toys, such as balls, or contain bells that may appear enticing to a pet. Broken ornaments can leave shards of glass in your pet’s mouth or paws and can possibly be ingested either when the pet grasps the ornament or while attempting to groom an injury caused by the broken object. This can also be true of lights on the tree if the pet bites at the glowing bulbs.
2. Wiring – Lights may make a tree look beautiful; however, they pose a threat to both pets and their human companions. Cats especially have the tendency to be attracted to wiring and are at risk of being electrocuted or burned should they decide to chew on it. What most owners do not realize is that they themselves are at risk of a home fire due to the cat chewing on the wiring on their tree. Unfortunately this is a problem that is a bit more difficult to control as wires are exposed throughout the tree and many cats will at least attempt to climb the tree out of natural instinct and curiosity. Keeping cords running from the base of the tree to the wall outlet may help decrease risk, but there are other ways you, as a pet owner, can protect yourself and your pet from harm. Monitoring your pets during times when the lights are turned on, as well as consistently checking cords when the tree is setup and taken down each year to look for bite marks indicating light strands should be replaced, will also help decrease risk. While outlet timers are a convenient way to turn your lights on and off, for households with pets it is best to physically unplug light strands from an electrical outlet when you are not there to monitor your pet.
We at Animal Central would like to wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday season!
Dr. George Stroberg, DVM and Staff