How to Pet Proof Your Home for the Holidays

by VetDepot on December 16, 2013

Holiday pet proofing blogTis’ the season for holiday decorations! If you’re a pet parent, it’s important to consider safety when decking the halls and trimming the tree.

  1. Do not leave lighted candles unattended – even for a second! A cat walking by could swish a tail into the flame and a rambunctious dog could knock a candle over. Consider flameless candles to avoid the fire risk.
  2. Think carefully about any extra electrical cords. Tape cords up along the wall out of the reach of curious dogs and cats.
  3. If you have a puppy or kitten around this holiday season, consider putting up a pet gate or other barrier around your tree. Alternatively, gate your pets out of the room the tree is set up in.
  4. Do not decorate the tree with food ornaments. Dried dough, Christmas cookies, popcorn strings and candy are all hard for pets to ignore.
  5. Think twice about tinsel on the tree. Cats are attracted to the string like appearance and shiny colors. Unfortunately, they also tend to swallow tinsel, which can lead to a visit to the veterinary emergency room and expensive surgery to remove the tinsel.
  6. While poinsettias get more of a bad rap than they deserve, they can cause stomach irritation. Mistletoe can also be toxic. Consider silk flowers instead.
  7. Delicate glass ornaments do not mix well with active pets. If you use them for decorating, put them on high, inaccessible shelves or near the top of the tree.
  8. If you love the scent of a live tree, be careful of any additives to the water stand. A thirsty pet might decide to take a drink.
  9. Secure your tree to the ceiling or walls. That way if a curious cat decides to climb, the tree won’t come crashing down.
  10. Keep any food gifts in a closed cupboard until right before gift opening time. Popular edible gifts like chocolate, coffee, and macadamia nuts are all toxic to pets.
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