Dangers for animals: 5 safety tips for Christmas

As contemplative as Christmas is, for dogs and cats it offers the framework for numerous dangers. A lot can happen, from swallowed tinsel to burns from candles to an overturned Christmas tree. To make sure the holidays don’t end at the vet, keep these five safety tips in mind:

Christmas decorations should be shatterproof and harmless - Shutterstock / Sue McDonald

Christmas decorations should be shatterproof and harmless – Shutterstock / Sue McDonald

Candles are glowing, everything glitters, chocolate is lying around everywhere and the smell of the holiday meal is in the kitchen – anyone who imagines Christmas from the point of view of dogs and cats will quickly understand why our four-legged friends sometimes put themselves in danger. Dangerous Christmas decorations are often to blame.

1. No open fire within paw reach

If you have pets at home, avoid open flames or real candles on the Christmas tree at all costs. The risk of fire from wagging dog tails or climbing cats is too high. Never leave your pets alone in the room with an open fire. Electric fairy lights are a viable alternative when placed out of reach. Otherwise, your furry friends could bite through the cables and risk an electric shock.

2. Choose unbreakable Christmas decorations

Christmas tree balls are a popular toy for cats. However, these can quickly break during play and then turn into splintered, sharp-edged weapons that can cause serious injuries. Therefore, use shatterproof Christmas decorations, such as wooden figures or home-made paper ornaments.

3. Christmas food and sweets are taboo

Of course it smells wonderful in the apartment at Christmas. However, leftovers from the festive menu are neither dog nor cat food. Poultry bones in particular are prohibited as they can splinter and cause internal injuries if cooked through. Fish bones are also life-threatening. Also taboo: spicy food, chocolate and other sweets. It is best not to leave anything lying around carelessly in the apartment. However, a little unseasoned ground beef, liverwurst or a dollop of yoghurt are treats that dogs and cats like and that don’t hurt in small amounts.

Winter fun with Christmas toys - Image: Shutterstock / DragoNika
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4. Do not put up poisonous plants

Be careful not to put plants that are poisonous to cats and dogs. Things to keep out of the reach of animals include poinsettias, holly, and mistletoe, as these plants can cause stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. You can find out which flowers are safe for house tigers in our guide “Buy non-toxic balcony plants for cats”. Incidentally, caution is also required with scented oils, snow spray and other agents with chemical substances.

5. Keep gift ribbon safe from cats

Gift ribbon is just as magical to cats as it is to tinsel. However, if these are swallowed while rampaging, they can become deadly traps. The bands can wrap around the tongue or cause serious internal injuries if swallowed. Therefore, clear away leftover packaging and ready-wrapped gifts in such a way that your pets cannot reach them.

You might also be interested in these animal related topics:

No Christmas stress with cats: 3 relaxation tips

Great Christmas fun: gifts for dogs

Animals as Christmas presents: Please don’t!

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