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Ten Christmas Tree Safety Tips for Pet Owners

1)  If you use any additives in your live tree’s water, make sure the holder is pet proof. Some pets might try to drink from there and an additive can be dangerous.

2) Avoid tinsel. It is beautiful but cats and kittens in particular are attracted to tinsel. Once swallowed it causes a “linear foreign body effect” pursing up intestines like a string in your jacket and requiring surgery.

3) Put plastic, felt and cloth ornaments down low at “pet height”. That way, if an ornament gets snagged, there won’t be broken glass to contend with.

4) Avoid strings of food such as popcorn garland. Pets will be attracted to the food and are at risk for the same linear foreign body problem.

5) Avoid any food item ornaments – even the baked dough ornaments can appeal to a hungry dog.

6) Do not leave packages with food items under the tree. This means both human foods like a box of exotic coffees or chocolates as well as any pet treats.

7) Secure your tree safely to a wall stud. A subtle “eye” hook placed in a nearby stud is a great way to tie a sturdy line and keep your tree safe from any climbing cats or playing pups.

8) Make sure all light cords are safely tacked along walls and/or enclosed in protective casings like a piece of hose.

9) Never leave pets free in the house with access to the tree when you are away.

10)  An ex-pen makes a safe and fairly inconspicuous barrier to keep a tree safe from most playing dogs and curious cats.

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