Here We Come A’Caroling

Karen Peak

Oh Christmas tree oh Christmas tree,
How I love your ornametry.
Oh Christmas tree with shimmery balls,
That soon shall crash on down the halls.
Those pretty lights all shining bright!
A chomp then fire may light the night.
Oh Christmas tree oh Christmas tree,
Please don’t be the death of me.

Glass ornaments, tinsel, garlands, lights, water from the tree, etc are hazardous to critters. If your pet plays with the tree decor, consider plastic ornaments, baby gates to limit access to the tree and interactive toys and games to distract your pets. Decorate with care. Tinsel, if ingested, can cause serious intestinal damage. Garlands must be used with care as they too, can be eaten.

I see that little Dreidel,
You made it out of clay.
And when it’s dry and ready,
That Dreidel I shall slay.
Oh Dreidel! Dreidel! Dreidel!
It really looks so neat!
And when your back is turned,
That Dreidel I shall eat!

Keep any small items that are part of your festivities away from your pet. If ingested, they may not pass and surgical intervention be required.

Wrecked the halls, ate boughs of holly!
Fa la la la laaa la la la la
In the tummy it’s not jolly
Fa la la la laaa la la la la
Mistletoe and Bittersweet season
Fa la la LA LA LA la la la!
Serious vet bills with good reason
Fa la la la laaaaa la la la la!

Many plants we bring in for the holidays, if eaten, will result in a range of issues from mild tummy upsets to serious poisoning. Consider artificial replacements for holiday vegetation.

Oh what a night!
That candle shining brightly,
‘Til I appeared and knocked the whole thing down!
The red trucks came,
The humans were not rejoicing.
And yonder gazed,
The neighbors at the blaze!

Advent Wreaths, Menorahs and Kinaras: never assume your pet will leave the flames alone. Consider the LED candles instead. One bump is all it takes for tragedy.

You have wrapped it
And taped it
And twined it
And bound it
And Fluffy
And Sparky
And Muffy
Have found it….
And now you recall why we told you to carefully rethink it all!

You wake Christmas Day to find someone yakked up bits of ribbon and paper on the antique tree skirt. The jingle bells on the fancy bows are nowhere to be found prompting x-rays to see who swallowed them. They were found in the gut of your Lab. Elaborately wrapped gifts with stunning ribbons are wonderful play things for your pets! Bows and twirled ribbon, even the smell of something in the box may be too much for your pet to resist. Santa can hide the boxes in the closet instead!

The Holly and the Ivy
Shall not grace my door
And neither shall the Mistletoe
And Bittersweet no more.
The candles that I so love
Decorations we adore
Must be safely placed about
So Fido does not explore.

This time of year does not have to be risky for our pets if we take a moment and think.

Have a Safe Holiday Season whatever you celebrate!

Karen Peak is owner/operator of West Wind Dog Training in Prince William County, founder of The Safe Kids/Safe Dogs Project, a published author, wife, mother and the manager of a multi-dog, multi-species household.

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