If you have pets in the house, make sure that your Christmas tree is dog and cat safe. This is not an easy task, as animals love colorful trees, twinkling lights and rattling ornaments and can’t resist exploring them.
Kittens and puppies in particular are a danger to the Christmas tree – or the Christmas tree to them – so their owners need to be aware of the increased safety rules. If you take some precautions, you can minimize the risk of accidents.
How to make your Christmas tree dog and cat safe
The first task is to make sure that the Christmas tree is securely fastened in place. A sturdy four-legged base is best for this purpose, as three-legged bases often wobble and are easily knocked over by a larger animal. Place the tree in the corner and secure it to a sturdy support at least at two points.
Many people like to pour water into the base of the Christmas tree, and even add some kind of pesticide. Clean water shouldn’t be a problem, but if you have a pet in the family, forget the chemical: it’s bound to leak out, which can cause serious poisoning.
When decorating the tree, remember that most pets can’t resist playing with it. Place delicate, fragile ornaments as high up as possible. The same applies to candy, which may be poisonous to dogs and cats, so hang them high up where your pet can’t reach.
Avoid garlands made of tiny beads, as dogs and cats may ingest them.
Decorate the tree with sturdy objects made of natural materials, such as tinfoil ornaments, at the bottom of the tree. If the tree is properly secured, your pet can play with these and perhaps get distracted from the more delicate ornaments placed higher up.
Arrange the lights so as your pet can’t get tangled up or chewed on them. Use wire guards for the parts lying on the floor. You can spray the bulbs with some kind of spray that smells unpleasant to your pet to keep it away.
Even with all the safety measures in place, don’t leave a dog or cat alone with a burning light, as they may still try to chew it, which could be fatal.
Never put a real burning candle on a tree, even if you are indoors. A pet may be more agile than you are and could set the house on fire before you can prevent it.
At night or when you’re not at home, lock your pet away from the tree. It’s best to close the door so your pet can’t enter the room unattended.