Are Christmas Trees Toxic to Dogs?
While many people love to decorate their homes for holidays like Christmas, pet owners may want to be careful with their choice of trees, as some trees may pose a danger to dogs and cats. Knowing which Christmas trees are pet-friendly or not can help you keep your lovely pets safe.
In general, the ecological essence of trees to the planet can never be downplayed. That said, the safety of your entire household or business center may hang in the balance if large trees are located at the wrong places in your vicinity, say close to your residential properties. It helps to consult tree removal experts such as Local Tree Estimates for professional tree removal exercises. This way, you can reduce the risk of trees in your surroundings and keep everyone safe.
Which holiday plants are dangerous to dogs?
Poinsettias are often regarded as poisonous holiday plants as far as pet safety is concerned. But the fact remains that these plants are not as toxic as many believe. The toxicity levels of poinsettias lie within the non-toxic to mildly toxic scale. Hence, they probably don’t deserve their bad reputation.
When pets consume poinsettias, they usually exhibit mild clinical symptoms such as gastrointestinal discomfort. It’s normal for mild rashes to appear if this plant is rubbed on your pet’s skin.
Having said that, it’s somewhat safe to keep poinsettias in your home.
According to Professor Dorothy Black of Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine, they’re not highly toxic plants, which means people are free to display these beautiful trees during Christmas.
Most Christmas trees are healthy for pets. However, you may want to be careful when dealing with pine needles. These can cause injuries (corneal laceration) to your pets’ eyes should they run into the needles. Additionally, mild gastrointestinal upset may also arise.
Mistletoe can also be quite dangerous to pets. When your pet consumes these plants, they may experience a change in their mental function. In worst-case scenarios, they may show a low heart rate and experience breathing difficulties. Once you notice these symptoms in your pets, seek help from your vet as soon as possible. You should keep mistletoe far away from the reach of your pets.
Which Christmas trees are poisonous to dogs?
Christmas is that time of the year when people fill up their homes with all sorts of trees and plants. These can range from festive Nordic spines to merry green mistletoe.
If you’re a proud pet parent, you should want to know the list of the most popular poisonous festive plants to help keep your canine happy and healthy during Christmas.
● Classic Christmas trees
Fortunately, a classic Christmas tree is only slightly unsafe for dogs. No chemicals in these trees’ sap or needles are seriously dangerous when ingested by canine pets or humans. On the downside, your dog may experience tummy upset or mouth irritation if he decides to chew them.
This plant constitutes one of the most common decorations for Christmas. Holly may look great when set up on your stair rail or fireplace, but it may not be as friendly when your dog mistakenly decides to take a bite of this plant.
It’s relatively easy to tell whether your dog has fed on this tree or not. Just watch out for symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, and lethargy. If you’re disturbed by the possibility that your dog has eaten holly, book an appointment with your veterinary clinic.
How toxic are mistletoe and pine needles to dogs?
As explained earlier, prickly pine can hurt your pet’s digestive system in numerous ways if they ingest a good chunk of this dangerous plant. For example, these plants’ sharp leaves can literally cut the interior of your pet’s throat or mouth. This will surely cause them a lot of discomfort, especially if the pine needles get stuck in your pet’s tummy.
When pesky pine needles get stuck in your dog’s paws, that can also ruin their feelings. When festive seasons come around the corner, it’s better to choose a wide variety of trees with low needle-drop like the Nordmann Fir. Artificial trees can also do the decoration job at an affordable price.
Find ways to get rid of needles from your floor to avoid the dangerous situation of dogs eating them. Vacuum-cleaning your floor isn’t a bad idea at all.
While mistletoe can add a lovely touch to your Christmas home decor, the same plant can be nasty to dogs if they decide to taste it for themselves. Similar to holly, mistletoe is quite toxic to dogs. Therefore, try to keep your pets away from this deadly decoration. Common symptoms that may arise from your pet feeding on mistletoe include:
- abnormal behavior
- decreased heartbeat
- a drop in their breathing rate.
It’s always a smart decision to call your vet when you suspect that your dog has eaten something that’s potentially harmful to their health.
Top 5 ways to protect your dog from toxic Christmas trees
As the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cute” The majority of pet owners fear that day when their Christmas-themed trees become dangerous to their pets. If you don’t want to deal with the hazards of curious pets pulling down your Xmas trees, the best thing is to keep them out of their way.
Here are a few actionable tips to safeguard your Christmas trees’ beauty and protect the pet that’s dear to you.
Erect a barrier
Building a wall is one effective strategy to ensure that pets don’t tamper with your Christmas trees and endanger their lives. While barriers may not be the best visually appealing solutions, they’re safe for handling nosey pets.
You can consider using gates and larger presents to wall off your precious Christmas trees and protect your dogs. These will prevent your dogs from climbing up your trees or bumping into them haphazardly.
For medium-size dogs, building a wall out of heavier presents may suffice. Just be sure not to add food products or any edible stuff that your dog may want to play with.
Select the right decorations
One thing to note is that some holiday decorations are more appealing to pets than others. This means if you get your selection of trees right, they won’t end up inviting dogs in the first place. Try to avoid choosing fragile decorations that are dangerous to pets. For instance, glass and ceramic materials easily shatter upon hitting the floor — so, why not opt for plastic decorations instead?
Edible decorations like chocolates create a myriad of problems for you as a pet owner. Chocolate isn’t healthy for dogs and cats as candy makers often add artificial sweeteners. In short, say no to candy canes. Popcorn and garlands also characterize modern Christmas traditions. While these decorations look cute, using food decorations means you’re inviting your dogs to explore them.
Fortify the bases of your Christmas trees
Another hack to keep your decorations away from pets is to ensure that they don’t fall. Fortify the base of your Christmas decorations to prevent them from tipping over if pets or kids push them. Although most holiday decorations are designed to have firm bases, weighing down your base will improve its strength. Fake trees are not as sturdy as real trees, so a heavy base is always a good idea.
Use pet deterrent sprays
There are pet deterrents out there that you can use to discourage your dogs from tampering with your Christmas trees. They normally have a bitter taste, so your pet will naturally shy away from your Christmas tree if they realize how distasteful the base is.
Cats may not fear to steer clear of bitterness though, so get something with a much stronger smell if possible. Natural products like orange peels and hot sauce can work like a charm. However, you should be cautious not to place hot sauce in areas where people can accidentally expose their eyes to these pet deterrents.
Hide your electrical cords
Exposing dogs to live wires is a deadly decision. To prevent electrocution risks, hide your cables as pets love to chew everything in their sight. It’s advisable to hide the cords connecting your lights, Christmas trees, and power bars. You can tuck small wires in between your carpets and the baseboards as well. Furthermore, you may use tape to cover your cords to prevent them from being chewed or tripped by pets.
A Christmas tree serves as a source of joy during the festive holidays, but it can also be a possible source of danger if care isn’t taken. Most canine species are naturally attracted to the inviting smell of gift boxes, holiday plants, ornaments and wrappings. The mischievous behavior your pet may exhibit depends on their temperament, age, and level of energy. Christmas trees can be toxic to dogs, so try and keep your pets in check during such occasions. Contact us now if you want to clear dangerous trees away from your residence.