Pet-Friendly Ways To Deck The Halls
Cats and dogs love to chew on shiny things, climb on everything, and dig for anything. With all the holiday decorations, the home is a whole new kind of playground for your pets. But, as with any playground, you need to take safety precautions. Here are some tips to keep your pets safe around the holiday decorations.
For curious cats and dynamic dogs, you might want to keep the tree in a room that can be closed off. A secure tree can be knocked over by the cat who can't resist the urge to climb or a thirsty dog that wants the water in the Christmas tree stand. Even the dangling ornaments may be too tempting for a cat to ignore. If you have mellow pets, make sure your tree is securely anchored—even if your dog or cat isn't inclined to climb, their tails can knock over a tree if it's not tied down well enough. Vacuum around the tree as much as you can. Pine needles can be toxic to pets if they eat them. Keep the base of the tree covered. Chemicals often added to water to preserve the trees during the holidays can be toxic. Tinsel, ribbons and bows on the branches look just like yarn to cats. They will bat at them and paw them until they catch them in their mouths. Cats are notoriously picky eaters, but they will eat tinsel and ribbons like it's tuna. Unfortunately, tinsel can cause serious health problems if they ingest it. Keep these items out of sight and locked away.
Beyond the Evergreens
Dogs and cats love to eat plants! It's normal for pets to munch on greens once in a while. But around the holidays, the plants you love to add cheer to your home are toxic to your pets. The popular poinsettias can cause stomachaches for your furry friends if they eat the leaves, stems or flowers. Mistletoe and holly berries are highly poisonous, and they make your pets very sick. In some cases, mistletoe can be deadly. If you want to use these plants as decor, make sure they're in spots where your pets can't get to them for a nibble. If you absolutely have to have poinsettias out, you can spray non-toxic solutions on the plant to deter pets from eating them. Another option is to spray water on them and sprinkle a tiny bit of cayenne pepper on the leaves to keep your pets away, but it's best to keep the plants out of reach to keep the risk at a minimum.
Lights and Cables
If you're lighting candles around the house for the holidays, strategically place them in spots where cat and dog tails can't take a swing at them. Cats love to look out the window all year, and side and end tables are just low enough for a dog to take a wrong turn and knock a candle over. Keep the candles high up or eliminate the danger by using LED candles. With the holidays come lights, and with lights come a lot of electrical cords. Some pets will want to make the cords their new and favorite chew toys. Make sure these cords are hidden or secured along the wall so your pets won't notice them. If there are cords you can't hide, cover them with bitter sprays to make them unappetizing. Make sure to reapply the spray often because it rubs off.