How to Pet Proof Your Home for the Holidays
Tis’ 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.
- 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.
- Think carefully about any extra electrical cords. Tape cords up along the wall out of the reach of curious dogs and cats.
- 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.
- Do not decorate the tree with food ornaments. Dried dough, Christmas cookies, popcorn strings and candy are all hard for pets to ignore.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Secure your tree to the ceiling or walls. That way if a curious cat decides to climb, the tree won’t come crashing down.
- 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.