Discussing Christmas Trees And How Your Pet Reacts To Them
December is finally here! And with December often comes the iconic holiday tradition of the Christmas Tree. Every year, millions of people go through the trouble to haul a pine or fir tree into their home and cover it with various ornaments, lights, and decorations. As festive as this tradition can be, it can have various effects on your pets as it’s not everyday you bring a whole tree into your home. This article will cover everything you need to know regarding Christmas Trees and pets including live tree vs. fake tree, if pets are allergic to pine trees, pine tree hazards, and Christmas tree precautions.
Real Tree VS Fake Tree
Whether you decide to get a real tree or an artificial tree for Christmas is more of a personal preference than anything. However, it becomes a much more difficult decision when you have pets in the house as both real trees and artificial trees can pose various threats to your pets. Real fir and pine trees can be toxic to dogs and cats if ingested in a variety of ways (more about that in the next paragraph!). Artificial trees aren’t toxic to your pets the way real trees are, but the needles can still fall off the tree and become dangerous to your pet if ingested. Overall, artificial trees are typically safer as they pose fewer threats than real trees. However, it really comes down to your personal preference and the temperament of your pets. If your pet has a knack for getting into trouble, then artificial might be a better option. Pick what’s best for you and your pets. For more information about artificial Christmas trees that are safe for pets, check out topdogtips.com.
Christmas Tree Hazards
Pine and fir trees can be very dangerous for your pets for a variety of reasons. The pine needles are not digestible and can be mildly poisonous depending on how much is consumed. The needles themselves can also be a choking hazard for your pets if eaten. Even worse, the needles can puncture or obstruct your pets gastrointestinal tracts leading to serious health complications. The resin that secretes from fir and pine trees is also toxic to dogs and cats. Dogs and cats have a tendency to mistake any standing water they can find for their water bowls (including the tree water at the base of your Christmas tree). This tree water contains both the resin from the tree and usually preservatives added to keep the tree alive which makes it very poisonous to your pets. One clever way to keep your pets away from your Christmas tree water is to wrap the base of your tree with aluminum foil. Both cats and dogs dislike aluminum foil for several reasons. They don’t enjoy the mirror-like appearance it gives off, or the harsh sound it makes when crumpled or moved, or the sharp texture of the material underneath their paws. Another Christmas tree hazard to look out for is keeping it stationary. Cats and dogs love to test the limits of Christmas trees (both real and fake) and will often accidentally knock them over. For more advice on the various holiday hazards to your pets, check out our previous article entitled Holiday Hazards.
Christmas Tree Precautions
The best way to keep your pets safe this Christmas is to take preventative measures and make your Christmas tree “pet-proof.” Aside from the previously mentioned aluminum foil trick, we have a few other recommendations for Christmas trees specifically. For starters, avoid using candy ornaments such as candy canes as these are toxic to pets. Second, put any glass or breakable ornaments on the higher branches so they are out of reach from your pets. This also includes strands of Christmas lights as the bright colors can be enticing to your pets, but are dangerous if chewed on. Next, invest in a high-quality tree stand for your Christmas tree. A heavy duty tree stand will keep your tree grounded and make it less likely to fall. Lastly, wait to decorate the tree for a few days after bringing it in the house. Your pets will naturally be curious about it and try to figure it out. Your cat will probably try to climb it and your dog will most likely try to pee on it. If any of your pets accidentally knock your tree over, at least it will be easy to clean up as there are no decorations on it yet.
No matter what you celebrate, you celebrate it with family and friends. At ParaMount Pet Care, pets fall under both of those categories. So, we encourage you to celebrate this holiday season with your pets too! By being aware of the various holiday hazards and taking the necessary precautions, your pets and Christmas tree can live together in peace. Happy holidays!