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A Garden, a Barbecue, the Warmth of the Sun : Summer and your dog's safety

Originally posted by ZenCat
How to Make Your Christmas Tree Pet-Safe

Christmas trees pose all sorts of hidden dangers for dogs and cats. Learn how to minimize the risks.

1. Cover your tree stand with a tree skirt to prevent your pet from drinking the water in the base. This liquid can make your animal sick.

2. Have pet treats on hand to distract your pet away from the tree. The needles can easily get lodged in the animal's throat, making it hard to swallow.

3. Place decorations that contain mistletoe, poinsettias and holly only in high sections of the tree, where your pet will be unable to get the tempting leaves and berries. They can cause heartbeat and blood pressure to drop.

4. Remove strings and ribbons from gifts that are left under the tree. These items may seem like toys to an animal, but can easily choke him or her.

5. Avoid using tinsel, since your dog can choke on it. Also understand that some of the older tinsel contains lead.

6. Remember not to use chocolate ornaments if there's a chance that your pet could pull them off. An ingredient called theobromine can have a toxic effect on dogs.

7. Tape the electrical cords of your Christmas tree lights to the wall so your pet won't chew them.

Other tips:

Realize that lit candles may capture the attention of your dog or cat. To avoid any accidents, leave your pets in the other room if you plan to light candles.

Keep wrapping paper out of reach since many pets are tempted to chew on it.