The much-anticipated yuletide season may be a joyous time for the family, but the use of certain holiday decorations also poses some danger to your household pets. Dazzling Christmas ornaments can make them curious. They may play with them and, as a result, cause accidents and even injuries. On top of that, some of the materials found in traditional Christmas décor are particularly toxic to animals. Here’s a quick and easy guide to help you keep your pets away from decorations – and safe during the holidays!
Choosing and Maintaining a Safe Christmas Tree
Christmas trees can be unsafe for pets, but with a few changes at the beginning of the season, you can create a safe environment that will keep your items and your animal friends secure. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Instead of getting a live Christmas tree, purchase an artificial tree. Live Christmas trees produce sap that can irritate an animal’s skin. Live trees also attract insects, which can then transfer to your dog’s or cat’s fir.
- Get a small or medium-sized Christmas tree. Large fixtures attract more attention and can cause bigger damage if it gets toppled by your pets.
- Choose a traditional-looking artificial tree. Colored and sparkly holiday pieces spark your pets’ curiosity.
- Stay away from trees with tinsel in them. This material is fatal to dogs and cats.
- Tabletop trees can be carried off by your pets and can easily be destroyed. Avoid them if possible.
- The location of the tree can help keep it secure. Make sure to place your tree away from the fireplace. It’s also a smart idea to place it in a corner. If ever the tree does fall, the walls can stop it from completely toppling over.
- Avoid flocking your tree. Most flocking materials can cause intestinal damage to your pets. If ever you do plan to place some kind of artificial snow on the branches, use cotton instead.
- Lights and expensive ornaments should be placed on the upper-half of the tree. This will prevent any damage to your décor pieces.
- Avoid using ornaments made from glass. When these shatter, they may cause harm to your kids and pets. Use pieces made from silk, cotton, tough plastic, or paper instead.
- Remember to hide all your electrical wires deep in the tree. Tape your electrical cords to the bottom of your walls. As much as possible, don’t let your pets see them.
- Remove ribbons and strings from your gifts if you plan on displaying them. These items can cause intestinal problems to the friendly critters in your home.
Pet-Proofing Your Holiday Pieces
Christmas trees are not the only holiday objects in your home that can be bad for pets. There are also other common holiday decorations that can cause harm. Here are several guidelines to consider:
- Lit candles are popular décor ideas during Christmas time. If you have pets running around the house, avoid them at all cost.
- It’s also a bad idea to use food items as ornaments. This is especially true for chocolate, which is toxic to dogs.
- Choose natural plants carefully. Mistletoe, holly, ivy, and poinsettia can cause diarrhea, bouts of nausea, and convulsions when ingested.
- Wreaths, garlands, and swags must be hung on the wall or placed on top of the mantel. Keep them high and as far away from pets as possible.
Keep your animal friends safe and happy during the cheerful Christmas season with this pet-friendly holiday guide from Tree Classics!