Nine Key Tips: How to Pet Proof Your Christmas TreeDecember 19, 2018
Last modified: December 19, 2018So, to avoid any casualties and hefty vet bills, we've looked into the best ways to keep our beloved cats and dogs from damaging the trees– and themselves – over the festive period. Here are the nine key tips to pet-proof your Christmas tree.
A Christmas tree is the ultimate festive decoration. But they can actually pose a hazard to curious kittens and probing pooches. Cats will often be drawn to the flashing lights, glittery tinsel and sparkly bubbles.
Whilst the rambunctious dogs are prone to bumping them over or even using them as toilets. Indeed, the breakable ornaments and electric lights on Christmas trees look fantastic, however, they pose serious hazards to cats and dogs.
We’ve heard all sorts of horror stories about pets eating parts of branches or decorations. Also getting spiny needles stuck in their paws, or pulling trees down and hurting themselves in the process.
So, to avoid any casualties and hefty vet bills, we’ve looked into the best ways to keep our beloved cats and dogs from damaging the trees– and themselves – over the festive period.
Nine Key Tips to Pet-Proof Your Christmas Tree
1. Invest in a Quality Stand
To anchor your tree to the ground better than a flimsy, plastic one, you must invest in a high quality heavy stand. You could even go the extra mile by looping some fishing line around the top of the tree and trying it to a small screw in the ceiling.
This will keep it from tipping over if your naughty pet gives it a bump.
2. Go Fake
Real Christmas trees have sharp needles which could easily get stuck in your pet’s paws. So to avoid any casualties, stick to artificial trees.
3. Start with a Bare Tree
Simply assemble your Christmas tree and leave it up a few days before you start decorating it. This will help your pet get used to having it in the house, and they’ll be more likely to leave it alone once it’s covered in lights and baubles.
You won’t have to spend hours picking up all your decorations and putting them all back on the branches if they do end up knocking it over whilst they familiarise themselves with it.
4. Create an Alarm
To create or set an alarm, you can place tin foil or a can filled with a few marbles on the tree’s bottom branches. This kind of alarm will help you hear in time to intervene when your dog or cat starts nosing around the tree.
Most cats dislike the sensations of tin foil on their claws too, so they’ll be much less likely to attempt to climb it.
5. Put Fragile Ornaments on Higher Branches
Pet’s paws and tails can be lethal to delicate Christmas decorations, but broken ornaments can be dangerous for cats and dogs too. You can put fragile ornaments towards the top of the tree, or switch to plastic decorations altogether to protect your pet from any potential accidents with broken glass.
You might want to leave the bottom third of the tree completely bare. Although this depends on how mischievous your cat or dog is.
6. Be Mindful of Electrical Cords
Be mindful that bright, shiny lights are hard to resist for cats and dogs. But they can also be really dangerous. Not only can your pets get tangled up in the wires, but if they like to chew, there’s also the risk of electrical shock.
Leave the bottom branches bare and make sure you secure the cords leading to and from the tree if you want to put lights on your tree. Or you can hide them with a tree skirt. Or use cord clips to keep them off the floor and out of reach.
So, if you must put lights on your tree, leave the bottom few branches bare and make sure you secure the cords leading to and from the tree. You can hide them with a tree skirt or use cord clips to keep them off the floor and out of reach.
7. Skips the Edible Decorations
Candy canes and chocolate decorations are just asking to be devoured by your four-legged friends. But did you know these sweet treats can be extremely dangerous to pets?
So, it’s important to keep these products completely out of reach of cats and dogs. Yes, this may mean leaving them off your tree completely.
A great way to keep cats away from your festive centrepiece is to use an orange peel or citrus spray on or around the street. It’s widely known that cats hate the smell of oranges or other citrus fruits, so this should cause them to steer clear.
9. Save the Presents Until Christmas Morning
To keep your Christmas gifts safe and protect your dog from chewing or eating something they shouldn’t, simply don’t put presents under your tree.
Hide them in a safe place. Then only bring them down on Christmas morning or late Christmas Eve. This means you won’t have to present loved ones with gifts that have been clawed at or drooled on.