By Amy Smith
November 13, 2020
Remember when all you wanted for the holidays was a pony? And now that you love, care for, or have one, you just want to celebrate that. Yes, we give our horses treats on their birthday or we feature them across social media on their Gotcha Day. But the season of merriment and decoration gives us a whole month to shower our equines with extra love.
While the season is a joyous one, it can also potentially be dangerous, however. Corro is here with some do's and don'ts to help keep you, your favorite four-legged friends, and barn safe this holiday season.
What to Steer Clear of When Decorating the Barn?
Make sure decorations aren't easily available for horses to snack on.
1. Traditional string lights: These typical, decorative lights not only heat up to a point where they could pose a fire hazard, but the cost to power them can be up to 90 times greater than alternative forms of lighting.
2. Mistletoe: While this love-inducing greenery looks nice, it’s highly toxic to animals. It can cause colic in horses and vomiting and diarrhea in dogs and cats, as well as difficulty breathing due to low blood pressure.
3. Holly: Both the leaves and berries of this holiday mainstay are harmful to horses, dogs, cats, and goats. It causes colic, gastrointestinal irritation and punctures, seizures, and depression.
4. Poinsettia: Horses, dogs, and cats can experience irritation in the mouth and stomach if they come in contact with this pretty plant’s sap.
5. Plastics: Decorations like tinsel and faux garland are made with plastics that can be toxic and harmful to animals if ingested.
What are Some Barn-Safe Holiday Decorations?
Bells are festive in look and sound while remaining safe and fairly uninteresting to animals.
1. LED lights: This alternative form of lighting costs substantially less, are much more durable than traditional string lights, and they don’t heat up so you won’t have to worry about the potential for a fire. LED lights allow your barn to festively sparkle and shine with holiday spirit!
2. Battery-powered lights: Another form of alternative lighting you may want to opt for are battery-powered lights as they also don’t pose a fire hazard.
3. Outdoor decorations: While festive decor in the barn does offer a cheerful ambiance, consider outdoor decorations for areas like barn doors, the backside of run-in sheds, and your barn sign.
4. Bells: Synonymous with the season, bells are festive in look and sound while remaining safe and fairly uninteresting to animals.
5. A live Tree: Instead of erecting a cut tree inside the barn, which are implicated in nearly 160 household fires each year, try decorating a live tree on barn property instead. Just make sure it’s out-of-reach from pastures or any other areas horses frequent.
6. Timers: To ensure that any lights aren’t accidentally left on during off-hours, invest in a timer. Not only is it safe, but your electric bill will thank you, too.