Holiday Hazards and Health Concerns

cat naughty

“Just hear those ornaments crashing and cookies smashing…uh-ooo!”

We wrote about this a few years ago and feel it is a very important topic this time of year. In fact, we just had a call today about a dog swallowing garland. Because the tree is a “new” toy pets do not see often, they are very curious about the shiny objects hanging on it.

If you have curious pets, glass ornaments are usually not a good idea. Even placed up high, they can be shaken from the tree and break. And it isn’t just a cut paw worry, it is amazing what pets will eat. We have seen dogs come in that have eaten broken ornaments.

Who hasn’t seen those hilarious videos of cats and Christmas trees? If you have a kitty-“klimber” in your home, try tethering your tree to the wall or a secure spot. Not only will this keep from having injury from the falling tree, but broken ornaments and torn light cords. We have also seen suggestions on cat sites to hang lemon or citrus scented air fresheners in your tree to repel cats. (Cats are reported to dislike citrus scents).

Tinsel is very attractive to pets; particularly cats (see our cautionary tale of CC the cat on our Facebook page from 2013). The problem with tinsel is that once it’s consumed, it can cause serious injury to your pet. Tinsel is linear, so it doesn’t pass through the intestines very well. As the intestines contract, it can bunch the tinsel up and cause blockage or perforation, which requires surgical intervention.  

Holiday lights are a pretty site but may be another source of danger to your curious pets.  Chewing on cords can create an electrical shock, causing tongue lacerations and possible death. Check your light strands for signs of fraying or chewing and use a grounded three-prong extension cord as a safety precaution.

Every firefighter can tell a tale of a fire started by pets and open flames. Prevent holiday disaster by placing candles and open flames in a hard-to-reach spot so that your pets can not access them. Even on counters and tables, pets can knock over candles with wagging tails causing burns and even house fires.  Try the new flame-less variety for a safe and economical option. 

And should an emergency situation arise, we are here at Hawthorne 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (including major holidays) for any holiday “cat”astrophes.   

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