As beautiful as a Christmas tree is to look at, it is also a magnet for pets. Whether they are climbing it, toppling it, or attempting to eat it, pets love Christmas trees. Live or artificial, you are going to need a plan for protecting your tree from the wild animals who inhabit your home. Here are some simple tips for pet-proofing your Christmas tree this year.
- Avoid tinsel. Cats find it delicious and fun to chew, but it can cause serious damage to their digestive systems.
- That pan of water that is keeping your tree from drying out can be very attractive to thirsty pets. But that sticky water can also make them very sick. Discourage drinking by cutting a piece of screen or other sturdy mesh fabric to fit and duct tape it over the pan. This will keep little tongues out while still allowing you to replenish the water supply.
- Cats love to bat balls around -- especially bright, shiny ones that are attached to a Christmas tree. Prevent breakage and possible injury by decorating your tree with plastic or wooden ornaments.
- That little metal stand that is holding your tree in the vertical position is no match for a rowdy pet with a running start. Get rid of it and invest in a large, sturdy tree stand. For extra protection, attach a string of fishing line from the top of the tree to a small hook in the ceiling.
- Puppies like to chew on things and those lower limbs of your Christmas tree may prove irresistible even to the most well-behaved little dog. Surrounding your tree with a baby pen might not be the most attractive solution, but is surely the safest. Otherwise, don't allow your puppy to be alone in the same room as the Christmas tree.
- To discourage chewing on your light cords, spray them with bitter apple. Unplug the lights when not in use.
- Clean up fallen needles regularly. Some dogs will eat just about anything and these sharp pine needles can cause internal injuries if ingested.
- Don't decorate with edible ornaments. If it smells like food, a determined pet will find a way to reach it.
There is still time to get all your dog christmas gifts!