The long-awaited period of the Christmas holidays has arrived, with the tree, decorations around the house and typical sweets. We must remember that Christmas and New Years bring many dangers for our animal friends, starting from the New Year's barrels to the decorations and typical dishes.
During the holidays, almost all families choose to decorate their home with the traditional Christmas tree. Those who live with a dog or a cat should know how interesting animals can find the decorations that are used to embellish both the tree and the crib.
In fact, many large and small objects can be gnawed or swallowed by the dog or cat, such as:
- Light cables
- Iron hook
- Artificial snow
To prevent our pets from getting hurt, without necessarily giving up Christmas decorations, we can take some simple precautions.
- Choose a tree that is not too big: the risk that the tree may collapse during play times and the cat's climbing habits is greater if the tree is large. A smaller tree, on the other hand, will stand up longer;
- Avoid real trees: nowadays there are few people who prefer to buy real trees rather than synthetic ones. Lets remember that, although ingesting real or plastic needles is always dangerous, in the case of a real tree the risks increase. The cat or the dog can gnaw the bark and ingest it;
- We place the tree in a safe place: the tree should be protected from the "attacks" of our animals. We try to secure it as much as possible to the surrounding furniture, perhaps using sturdy threads of transparent nylon. They will not be seen, but they will be able to keep the tree in place. Another trick is to avoid furniture nearby from which the animal can jump. A very small kitten suspended from the Christmas tree will probably do no harm, but imagine 6 kilos of feline flying on the branches;
- Choose the decorations well: the tree, the nativity scene and the decorations on doors and windows can be just as beautiful even without some elements that are more dangerous for our animals. We should avoid artificial snow, glass objects that can fall and break into a thousand sharp fragments and lighted candles;
- Make the decorations less interesting: we could use a repellent spray, easily available in all pet shops, to spray around the tree and on the crib. The cat and dog, disgusted by the intense smell, will run away. We also avoid all objects that reflect light and trinkets, which the cat can easily mistake for preys;
- We fasten the decorations to the tree well: balls, figurines, pinecones and all the decorations must be firmly fixed to the branches of the tree, for example by tying them very well with sturdy threads. We avoid the hooked metal hooks, which are simply placed on the branch, because the animal could easily remove them and ingest them;
- We decorate only the highest parts of the tree: we avoid decorating the lower parts of the tree because they are the first to be reached by the legs of our animals;
- We choose larger figurines for the nativity scene: for those who do not want to give up the tradition of the nativity scenes in our home, a great idea may be to choose larger figurines;
- We protect electrical cables: Christmas lights are a must on the tree, on the crib and on the balconies. However, we should try to protect the electrical cables by covering them with insulating adhesive tape, to prevent animals from getting shocked;
- Watch out for gifts: Christmas Eve is a joy for everyone, but when we arrive at the fateful moment of exchanging gifts, let's remember to collect all the ribbons and bows that can be ingested by your pet.
If we have cats in the house, we must also pay attention to plants. Not everyone knows, but poinsettias are very dangerous for felines, because they contain substances that, if ingested, are poisonous.
Typical holiday dishes
Our family is already in the kitchen and we can't wait to taste all the sweets and typical dishes of the Christmas tradition.
Here are some of the most dangerous foods for dogs and cats:
- Chocolate: it is highly toxic to animals;
- Sweeteners: xylitol is very palatable for our animals, but at the same time is dangerous if ingested;
- Panettone and pandoro: leavened products can annoy the digestive system of dogs and cats, so let's avoid them. In addition, they may contain raisins, which are very dangerous for animals;
- Exotic fruit: during the holidays we often decide to enrich our dining table with exotic fruits. We should pay particular attention to avocado, which is poisonous for dogs and cats.
As you can see, it is not true that those who live with a dog or a cat must necessarily make sacrifices. The important thing is to follow some simple and practical advice to peacefully experience the party atmosphere all together.