Pet Proof Christmas

One of the important things needed for the holiday spirit and "must have list" is our pets company. This includes sharing in the fun of decorating and staring at our gifts. Some holiday decorations need pet proofing due to our fun but michevious felines and our adorable but clutsy canines. Here are some tips and cautions for our furry friends so that we all can have a safe and wonderful holiday.. together.

The Tree

 Wait a minute. You might be used to busting out the ornaments as soon as you get the tree home, but it helps to give your cat or dog a chance to get bored with the tree first. Set up the tree a few days before decorating it so that your companions can investigate it (and hopefully, soon lose interest in it).

Christmas movies use tipped-over trees as a comedic device, but there’s nothing funny about a falling tree indoors. Invest in a quality stand to secure the base of the tree. To prevent possible injury to curious pets, place the Christmas tree in a corner and securely anchor it to the celing or wall. To anchor your tree, loop some fishing line around the trunk and tie it to an anchor, such as a molly bolt, in the wall behind it. You can also tie the line around the top of the tree and tie it to a screw in the ceiling. This will keep the tree from tipping over. Keep the tree away from launching zones (e.g., furniture) that your cat uses, in order to reduce the temptation to pounce on your tree.

You can also create an "alarm" to alert you if the tree is in danger: simply place aluminum foil or a can filled with beans on the tree’s bottom limbs. If your dog starts nosing around the tree, you’ll hear it in time to intervene. Steer your kitty away! Most cats hate foil and citrus scents, so wrap your tree trunk in foil, and place a few lemon or orange peels around the base. You can also place pine cones around the base.

Bright, shiny lights are hard to resist, but they can be dangerous to your dog or cat. Not only can your pet get tangled in the wires, but if they are chewers, there’s a risk of electrical shock. If you put lights on your Christmas tree, leave the bottom branches bare. Skip the tinsel. Tinsel may be cheap and flashy, but it’s a serious hazard to cats, who often can’t resist eating it and therefore risk choking on it or getting it stuck in their intestines if they swallow it. Go for other types of pretty decor instead, such as paper, wood, or vegan felt decorations, which are less tempting to kitties than the super-shiny stuff.

Secure cords leading to and from the tree. Hide cords within the tree skirt or decorative package, or use adhesive-backed cord clips to keep them off the floor and out of reach.

Your happy dog with her big, wagging tail can be lethal to delicate Christmas decorations. Broken decorations may be a choking hazard, or cause paw or mouth injuries. To keep your family heirlooms safe, and protect your dog from broken glass, put fragile ornaments towards the top of the tree, or switch to plastic altogether. Depending on how rambunctious and curious your dog is, you may want to leave the bottom third of the tree bare.Tie ornaments. Your cat can be injured by the little metal hooks typically used to hang ornaments, so instead, try tying the ornaments to the tree. Make sure the ornaments are secure enough that your cat can’t just run off with them.

The Presents

Sometimes it’s not a matter of dogs and Christmas trees, but dogs and what’s under the tree.To keep your Christmas gifts safe, and protect your dog from ingesting something he/she shouldn’t, don’t leave presents under the tree. Wait for Santa to come on Christmas Eve, and wake up to gifts that the dog hasn’t licked.

The Other Decorations

Candlelight makes the holidays cozy and bright, but open flames with our dogs and cats don’t mix. Aside from the fire hazard of having a candle close to the Christmas tree, flickering candlelight is hard to resist. If you’re decorating with candles, place them on secure shelves well out of reach of your dog or cat. To get that flickering glow effect on the Christmas tree, try clip-on LED candles.

Avoid small ornaments that your pet could choke on, or fake snow (which may contain harmful chemicals). And be sure to keep foods and plants that could be poisonous out of kitty’s reach—or better yet, out of your house. These include chocolate, mistletoe, lilies, cyclamen, poinsettias, amaryllises, holly, mistletoe, poinsettias. These common holiday houseplants are a risk for dogs also If you decorate with any of them, keep them way out of reach of your pets. Better yet, look for pet-safe alternatives. Artificial versions can be just as lovely.

While pine needles aren’t particularly toxic, they are small and sharp, and can cause injury in your dog’s mouth and intestines. If you have a natural Christmas tree, be sure to sweep up fallen needles every day.

The smell is wonderful in the house and to your pets so use caution when putting out your potpurri. Make sure it is in a high area that the dog cannot get to and secure it so the cat cannot knock it out of the bowl or roll the bowl off the stand.

Nothing makes a cuter holiday picture than your dog posed in front of the Christmas tree. But dogs and cats near Christmas trees aren’t always the perfect mix. Follow our tips and think about holiday decorations and our furry bestfriends saftey.

 

 

 

 

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