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Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree!

Christmas tree safety tips for your pets

Thanksgiving is now behind us and Christmas is just around the corner. If you haven't already done so, you will probably soon for everyone to enjoy, including your four-legged family members.

Pets are curious by nature and as expected, they will be sniffing around your tree trying to figure out what it is and why trees are suddenly growing inside the house. As harmless as you may think this is, if you are not careful, your christmas tree can create big problems for your inquisitive furballs.

The most common types of christmas trees are fir, pine and spruce, and all of these can cause issues for your pets if they chew on them. The oils in the fir trees can be irritating to their mouth, which is seen as excessive drooling and vomiting. If the needles from any of these trees are swallowed, the sharp edges can puncture their stomach or intestines and because they are not easily digestible, they can also cause vomiting, intestinal irritation and  even obstruction if they ingest a large amount.

Some people put aspirin or other preservative in the water to keep the tree fresh. Ingestion of too much aspirin can cause stomach ulcers, vomiting, blood in stools and prevent the blood from clotting, which leads to spontaneous bleeding or bruising easily as well as  kidney or liver failure. It is best not to use this is in the water, but if you feel you must, remember to keep the water bowl covered so that your pet cannot drink it.

Dogs and cats may sometimes have a habit of chewing on the electrical cords that connect your tree lights and doing so can cause electrical shock or burns in their mouth. Signs of oral burns in pets are not eating, salivating, pawing at the mouth, swollen tongue and excessive swallowing.

Tree decorations like tinsel, can be extremely dangerous for cats if swallowed because this is considered to be which can cause obstruction and bunching of the intestines, and oftentimes, needs to be surgically removed.

Christmas time is said to be the most wonderful time of the year and I agree. With all the tree decorating and other preparations that we do, please be sure to keep your pets, who to some are the greatest gift of all, safe and secure.

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