The holiday season brings with it excitement and decorations and lights - all of which can create excitement, or anxiety, or even danger for your pet. It’s important to think about what they can reach, as well as what can be toxic or dangerous.
Easy Tips to Making Your Holiday Decor Safe for Your Pets
Here are a few tips to think about when decorating your pet-friendly home:
- Lights - lights are interesting to animals, but can be dangerous when chewed or even hot to the touch. Always unplug lights when you’re away, and spray cords with something they hate, such as Bitter Apple.
- Ribbons, yarn, string, tinsel, and angel hair - these are sparkly and to a young pet, especially, considered tasty. If ingested they can create blockages that require surgery to repair. It’s best to keep these far away from where a pet can access them - consider putting a pet gate around your tree.
- Tree preservatives are often sugar based - a delicious treat for your pet! Because the water stands for long periods of time, it can contain bacteria to make them sick - as well as any fertilizers or insecticides that might have been used on your tree while it was growing.
- Trees should be put into a stable stand and attached to the ceiling or wall to prevent overturning. A smaller tree can be placed on top of a table to prevent your pet from reaching it easily.
- Candles and potpourri - candles can obviously cause burns or a house fire, so keeping them well away from your pet is important. Potpourri, incense and essential oils can be toxic to animals. Be sure to research what you’re putting into the atmosphere before you start - and keep burners or diffusers up high and away from prying pups. Cinnamon, for instance, is dangerous for kitties while juniper, anise and wintergreen (even the fumes) can be dangerous for dogs.
- Ornaments - ornaments are very tempting to pets, as they have a similar look and shape as their favorite pet toys and balls. Keep them up high on the tree away from reach or keep the tree blocked from their access.
- Plants and flowers are lovely, but to pets some of them can be downright deadly. Poinsettias in particular should never be within their reach, as well as mistletoe and holly.
Be sure to involve the entire family in the discussion of what is safe for your furry family so that everyone is aware and attentive.