How to Pet-Proof Your Christmas Tree
Here are some Christmas Tree Tips for pet owners.
It can be very difficult to keep a young, still-in-training pet away from the Christmas tree, particularly if this is his or her’s first Christmas. Even for an older pet, who may have learned not to jump on the tree – either because it fell on him last year or because your admonitions worked – you will still need to be cautious with the ornaments you place within his reach.
A live tree can be especially hazardous. Dogs and cats like to chew on sticks (i.e., limbs) and greenery. Accordingly, the fir tree oils can be irritating to the mouth tissue causing such symptoms as drooling and vomiting. Also, if your pet is chewing on the branches, there is a good chance he is also swallowing some of the needles. If enough needles are swallowed they can get caught in the intestinal tract, puncturing the lining or bunching together and causing obstruction. Both can have deadly consequences.
A popular tree decoration called flocking, an imitation snow product, can also cause serious problems when significant amounts of it are swallowed. If you are going to have a tree in your home, it is best to at least get a non-flocked tree.
In addition, some trees are treated with chemical preservatives to keep them fresh longer. These chemicals leach into the water in the feeding dish, making the water poisonous to drink — which pets will do if the water is left uncovered. If you do not have a tree skirt to cover the water dish with, you can use towel, plastic wrap, or aluminum foil.