Thanksgiving is over and many homeowners are now decorating their property for the holidays—barns and outbuildings included. Care should be taken when decorating both inside and outside the barn; while some decorations are safe for horses, others could cause a problem if a nosy equine decides to sample some of them.
Most spruce and pine are safe to have around horses, but the sap may irritate the mouth of a horse who tries to eat it, so hang it out of the way of curious equines. Holly is mildly toxic to horses, but the leaves and berries pose a greater toxicity risk for barn cats and dogs, so decorate with care, reports The Horse.
Mistletoe should be completely avoided in the barn. It can cause gastrointestinal and cardiac issues, as well as respiratory problems and erratic behavior in horses, dogs and cats. Poinsettias, while mildly toxic, must be consumed in large quantities to pose a risk.
Manmade decorations like tinsel can cause intestinal blockages if consumed and Christmas lights may be an electrocution hazard, as well as a fire risk. All lights used in the barn and in other outdoor setting should be UL-listed. LED lights are an even better option as they are cooler when on for any length of time.
If a real tree is placed in the barn, it should be watered regularly to reduce the risk of combustion. Artificial trees can be nonflammable or flame retardant.
Read more at The Horse.
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