Cody the Airedale Says to Remember Pet and Animal Safety When Decorating for the Holidays

Cody - Santa Claus

Cody – Santa Claus

Hi – it’s Cody the Airedale here. I first want to thank my human mom and dad for helping me to write this article on a topic that’s very important to me and all my other four-legged friends. That topic is a reminder to keep pet and animal safety in mind when decorating for the holidays.

I live with my mom and dad in the Ken-Caryl Ranch Valley. This time of year I have many wild animal friends stop by my house including deer, elk, raccoons, rabbits, red foxes, and coyotes. I know if the electrical cords and light strings are not secured properly, that my friends can trip or become tangled up in them and hurt themselves. If you need to run electrical cords between two shrubs or trees, don’t run the cords above ground but staple them safely to the ground with sod staples. We’ve all seen and heard stories about the inquisitive deer with a plastic pumpkin stuck on his head or a string of lights tangled up in his antlers.

deer tangled in lightsFor dogs like me and cats, interior decorations have their own potential dangers. I was born on December 19th eleven years ago, so I don’t remember too much about my first Christmas except competing with my brothers and sisters for a meal. But by the next Christmas, I sure do remember all those shiny balls on the tree that I could knock to the floor with my tail. My mom and dad quickly learned that my access to the tree should be restricted so that I wouldn’t hurt myself or damage the ornaments.

I’ve been told that cats really like to climb Christmas trees and dogs also might be tempted to jump up at a tree to get a better view. For that reason, trees should be anchored securely so that they do not get knocked over. I’ve been told that cats are also attracted to the shiny tinsel, and this is a very bad thing for both cats and dogs to swallow. Also, if your family has a real tree, make sure that the reservoir containing the water does not become a water dish. Sometimes chemicals are added to help preserve the tree and over time the water can develop bacteria, so make sure that someone in the household covers the reservoir so that it is not used as a water dish.

For any interior lighting or tree lighting, also make sure that the electrical cords are kept safely out of the reach of both puppies and older dogs who like to chew. The result of chewing into a live electrical cord could range between painful and deadly. Artificial and real pine needles, ribbon, bows, and even wrapping paper can become real problems if eaten, so for that reason the floors and carpets should be vacuumed frequently and the home kept tidy.

Also remind your family that the following plants can be harmful to dogs and cats: poinsettias, holly, amaryllis, lilies, and mistletoe. Either decide beforehand not to have these in the home at all or keep them well out of reach of the fur kids in the family. Poinsettias can irritate the stomachs and mouths of both dogs and cats, and some lilies can cause kidney failure in cats. Also, any liquid potpourri should be kept out of the reach of both dogs and cats.

Although food and drink are not part of holiday decorating, they are part of celebrating the holidays. For that reason, please be careful to keep alcoholic drinks, chocolate, grapes, raisins, currants, and fatty meat scraps away from dogs and cats. And, in Colorado and other states that have legalized marijuana, please do not allow your dogs and cats to eat any edible marijuana products.

By following a few simple rules, we can all help to make the holidays safe and enjoyable for both my four-legged and human family and friends.

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