It's the most wonderful time of the year and it wouldn't be complete without the Christmas tree. But is it safe for your pets?

There's nothing quite like decorating your Christmas tree to get you into the festive spirit! Just make sure it's safe for the whole family by being aware of the potential issues below...

1. Christmas tree needles

If you've gone for a real Christmas tree this year then you probably have a pine tree. Generally speaking, pine is not considered to be toxic to pets. However, the oils from the needles could upset the stomach and potentially lead to vomiting and diarrhoea if chewed or consumed. Given the sharp nature of the needles, they can get stuck in your pets paws so look for a low shedding tree if you can.

2. Christmas tree ornaments and lights

When it comes to the decorations on the tree, it's best to err on the side of caution, especially if  you have a young puppy that is still testing everything with their teeth first! It may be wise to supervise your pet around the tree as tinsel, ornaments and fairy lights may prove too tempting to a young dog or curious cat! They can cause obstruction or even gastric rupture if sharp or easily breakable.

Make sure you keep an eye on your pet around the lights on your tree, they could end up with a nasty electric shock if they treat them like a chew toy!

3. Christmas tree water

Christmas celebrations are thirsty work but make sure your pet isn't rehydrating from the tree water. Preservatives, pesticides, fertilisers and other agents, such as aspirin, are commonly used in the water to keep it fresh which could land your pet at the emergency vet!

4. Christmas presents 

Wrapped presents under the Christmas tree are just there for the taking as far as your pet is concerned! Just be aware of what has actually been wrapped if you have an inquisitive creature pawing the gifts earlier than 25th December... Chocolate, batteries in toys and the wrapping paper itself could all cause significant issues for your pet. If you're worried your pet may have consumed something they shouldn't have, consult your local vet immediately.

5. Mistletoe

Mistletoe might not be on your tree but since it may feature as seasonal decor around the house, it's worth mentioning the risks associated with it! Eating mistletoe can lead to much bigger problems than any other festive decoration. Dangers include gastrointestinal upsets, heart problems, breathing difficulties, nerve damage and even brain damage. If you do have mistletoe within the home, keep it well out of the reach of your dog.

Work, family and social commitments mean that there often aren't enough hours in the day to give our pets the attention that they deserve. Click here to find out how Tailster can put you in contact with hundreds of pet carers in your local area, meaning that you can rest in the knowledge that your pets are being well looked after.