Decorating for the holidays with a pet can be difficult, especially when it comes to putting up a Christmas tree. The huge new object in the house will be the center of their curiosity and attention, so pet owners should be aware of how to keep their pets safe while maintaining the tree throughout the season.
Dogs and cats can drink Christmas tree water or knock down trees, while some cats enjoy climbing trunks and batting at hanging decorations. A curious cat or a wagging dog's tail can also put your Christmas decorations at risk.
The good news is that pets and Christmas trees can get along just fine. Here are some Christmas tree safety tips to keep your pets, Christmas tree, and decorations safe.
Pet Safe Christmas Tree
Start with a sturdy tree stand for maximum stability, whether you have a real or artificial Christmas tree. It should be noted that pine needles and any shredded plastic that may fall from your artificial tree can be hazardous to pets if handled. Natural pine needles are somewhat toxic and can irritate animals' mouths, and pine needles and plastic needles can cause intestinal obstruction.
Avoid artificial trees that are bushy, colored, or covered in glitter that your pet may be tempted to eat. Use a pet deterrent such as bitter apple spray or lemon spray on and around the tree to discourage clawing and chewing.
Christmas Tree Size & Location
When it comes to pet and Christmas tree safety, the size of your tree is entirely up to you. Whatever tree size you choose, there will be trade-offs. Small trees are easy knockdowns for animals, which can encourage some cats and dogs to misbehave.
On the other hand, a large Christmas tree is more prone to damage. This can cause your pet to fall and injure you, while also removing your furniture with scratches or dents. A falling tree can take down your TV, break a valuable tabletop decoration, or destroy numerous tree ornaments depending on what's nearby.
Water dripping from a live tree stand, on the other hand, can damage your carpet or flooring. Plant your tree in a corner or behind your couch for added security, or place it in a room that can be closed off with a door or pet door. Consider using a few hooks and some fishing wire to secure your tree to the wall or ceiling.
Ornaments & Decorations
Another Christmas pet safety tip is to avoid using edible decorations on your tree. Pet-safe Christmas ornaments include popcorn and cranberry strings, candy Christmas decorations, and cookie ornaments made from modeling clay, salt dough, flour paste, or gingerbread.
Glass ornaments are deadly if swallowed by your pet, and tinsel and beads can block your pet's intestines and require surgical removal if ingested.
So, what kind of ornaments can you hang on your Christmas tree?
For your information, Christmas Central has a wide variety of shatterproof decorations for your Christmas tree. Although shatterproof decorations are not indestructible, they are exceptionally durable and will not produce deadly slivers of glass if broken.
More Tips to make Christmas Tree Pet Friendly
• Use instead of garland on the mantle, or keep your garland hanging within reach of your pets.
• Use flameless LED candles to decorate table tops. A number of house fires have been caused by a pet knocking over a burning candle.
• Electrical wires should be carefully wrapped around the tree and taped to the floor. Pets can become entangled in stray cords, which can be fatal.
• Make sure the bulbs in your miniature Christmas lights are secure. A stray bulb that falls to the floor can attract your pet.
• With a splash of water (avoid electrical outlets!), teach your curious pet to avoid the Christmas tree. Some people keep a broom or vacuum cleaner near the tree. If your pet is afraid of the broom, it will run away from the tree.
• Avoid decorating the tree when your pets are present. Nothing piques their interest like a jumble of loose decorations!
On Christmas morning, avoid the unpleasant surprise of a horizontal tree. A little forethought will make the holiday season safer and more enjoyable for both you and your pet!