Your Christmas tree likely steals the show each holiday season, outshining the other festive decorations. But, your showstopper holds a host of hazards for your furry pal. When decking out your tree this year, our team at Elon Animal Hospital wants you to be aware of the following potential safety issues for pets and keep your four-legged friend safe from harm. 

Real trees versus artificial trees: Which is safer?

While real trees seem safer, they can carry as much, if not more, risk of harming your pet. The oils from fir, spruce, and pine trees can irritate your pet’s mouth and gastrointestinal tract, leading to drooling, nausea, and vomiting, while the chemical-laden water sitting in the tree stand is a toxic disaster. However, artificial trees aren’t pet-proof, and the synthetic needles can wad up and form a gastrointestinal obstruction if swallowed. 

Stay away from strings of lights

Twinkling lights can entice inquisitive pets to take a closer look and potentially gnaw on the shocking strands. Pets can suffer from electrical burns or shocks if they chew on plugged-in lights. 

Swap out glass ornaments for plastic

Although a kitten batting at Christmas ornaments is incredibly adorable, glass balls, clay-crafted decor, and porcelain figurines can be knocked from the tree and shatter. As your pet jumps down to investigate, they can cut their paws on the shards, or be startled as the falling ornament crashes, leap out of the tree, and be injured.

Ditch the tinsel and edible decorations

Sparkling tinsel, delicious popcorn strands, and aromatic cinnamon dough ornaments make wonderful tree decorations, but pets may take a closer look—or a bite. Avoid tree adornments that your furry pal cannot resist, or block your pet’s access to your tree. 

If your furry pal ends up on the naughty list by ransacking your Christmas tree, cutting a paw, or experiencing a toxicity issue, count on our team to care for them. Give us a call—we are always ready to help a pet who’s been bad rather than good.