How to Save Your Holiday Trees and Decorations from Pets

As most cats that are allowed outdoors will attest, trees are for climbing. So, if you simply bring a tree indoors, well, that’s for climbing too!

And if cats don’t understand holiday trees, I’m afraid a lot of dogs don’t either. Attracted by the smell of a fresh pine, your holiday trees can quickly transform into just another pee station…

A well-trained dog (and cat) that understands the word “no” will cooperate in your presence, but who knows what will happen when your back is turned. Many wonderful dog cookies and small catnip toys make great Christmas decorations. But the moment you put them on your tree, you are tempting them closer to sniff and possibly help themselves, destroying the tree and even hurting themselves in the process.

And the same applies when such “irresistibles” are placed in a designated dog or cat stocking hanging on the mantelpiece.

So the answer is to keep anything edible or that smells of catnip away from your holiday tree, stockings and gifts placed beneath the tree.

It’s also a really good idea to sprinkle the lower branches of your tree with ordinary household ground pepper, or spray some bitter aloe on the lower sections. Both are non-toxic and harmless and will definitely deter any further feline or canine interest.

Poinsettias are a popular holiday flower and often people use them to decorate around the holiday tree as well as in other places throughout the home. They are very toxic to pets. Silk versions of such plants are a very realistic way to recreate this decorative feature and will keep pets safe.

It’s equally important to ensure that any cables for holiday lights are well hidden too. Chewing on electrical cables is very dangerous and can result in a pet burning its mouth, singeing whiskers and can even result in electrocution. It’s possible to get special cable covers that are infused with citronella that will act as a chewing deterrent and promote safety.

And, one final word on holiday safety. The festive season is also synonymous with beautiful candles. If there are pets in the home (not to mention small children), it’s a really good idea to go flameless. Fortunately, flameless candles are easy to obtain and are available in a variety of sizes and colors and still add the same amount of ambience to a room.

Happy Holidays!

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