Glittering Christmas decorations look festive to you. To your dog or cat, they look like a playground. Your pet can get hurt in a romp with the Christmas tree or holiday decorations. But it’s possible to keep the season bright for both you and your fur babies. Here are some ideas for maintaining pet safety during the holidays.
Tips for Holiday Pet Safety
- Artificial Christmas trees are safer for pets and cheaper in the long run than buying a cut tree each year. In addition to being a fire hazard, real trees may attract your pet’s attention with their scent. Your pet can get sick from chewing on evergreen needles, and your cat may consider a real tree’s trunk a scratching post or thrilling climb. An artificial tree promotes pet safety by alleviating these problems.
- Make sure your tree’s stand is stable to keep your animals from tipping it over. If necessary, weigh it down at the base with small sandbags. Tethering your tree to a nearby wall can also promote pet safety.
- Select a moderately sized tree. The taller the tree, the more likely it is that your curious cat may knock it over. Avoid small tabletop trees that your dog may consider a chew toy.
- To ensure pet safety, use short extension cords for lights and create barriers to keep pets from accessing cords. If you have a cut tree, cover the water at its base so pets won’t drink it.
- Shiny decorations attract pets, but broken glass ornaments can lead to serious injury. Cloth, wood, plastic or paper ornaments will be less tantalizing to feline and canine eyes and contribute to pet safety. If you must have shiny ornaments, place them up high, out of reach. The same goes for collectible ornaments.
- To dissuade your pets from chewing on your tree, mist the lower branches and decorations with bitter apple spray. A citrus spray will work as well. If your pet approaches your Christmas decorations, squirt her with water from a spray bottle. She’ll soon get the message.
- For pet safety, avoid food decorations such as candy canes or popcorn strings. Some are poisonous to pets or can cause choking.
- Place candles high out of reach. Since cats can jump and climb, consider flameless candles.
- For pet safety, steer clear of holiday season plants that are poisonous: poinsettia, mistletoe and holly with berries.