Chances are it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at your house. As the big day draws near many of us are decking our halls and trimming our trees in preparation for the holiday festivities. But if you have pets, you have a little more to plan for then just where to hang your holly. As a pet owner, or even a pet host, you’ll need to take your pets’ health and safety into consideration as well.
…Not to mention the health and safety of your sentimental treasures and family heirlooms.
Keeping Pets Safe
There is a lot to consider when it comes to keeping your pet safe during the holidays. Chief among your safety concerns are the many little “did-you-knows” when it comes to holiday décor.
Here’s what to look out for:
- Ornament hooks—These pesky little hooks can wreak havoc on a curious pet, especially one that likes to eat things he or she shouldn’t. Because of their unprotected ends, these hooks can get hooked into your pet’s mouth, paws, or even their eyes. Instead of hooks, try using ribbon or fishing twine instead.
- Tinsel–While the occasional odd dog may fancy your tinsel, chances are it’s your cat that you will find tinsel irresistible. And while it may be cute to see your curious kitty paw and play with the shiny stuff, you won’t think it’s so cute when your pet ingests it, resulting in an intestinal blockage. If you have pets, just say no to tinsel.
- Advent Calendars—Advent Calendars are a favorite Christmas tradition, especially in a house with children. Be certain to keep these out of the reach of your pets. The chocolate can be toxic to your dog, and small toys can be a choking hazard as well.
- Gift Wrapping—Don’t let your pet snarffle around in the chaos of wrapping and unwrapping. The string, tape, wound-up paper, twist-ties, and sharp plastic edges can do serious harm to your pets, especially when no one is looking. Keep your mess cleaned up if your pets will be part of the great unwrapping.
- Plants—Remember; mistletoe, poinsettias holly, and lilies can all be toxic to varying degrees of fatal for pets. Keep these plants out of your pet’s reach, or out of your home altogether.
Protecting Your Décor From Your Pets
As you deck the halls, keep in mind that pets don’t understand the words “breakable,” “family heirloom,” or “sentimental value.” Take care to hang your most precious breakables up high and out of your pet’s reach.
Likewise, don’t construct your nativity or place your favorite gingerbread house in your pet’s favorite resting spot. If that nook needs some holiday cheer, get your pet a cozy Christmas blanket instead. You’ll both be happier if you do.
Finally, let it be said that when it comes to training pets to keep away from the Christmas tree that a squirt bottle can go a long way in keeping your pets at bay.