The winter holiday season is a wonderful one, and certainly a great time for family, including your fur kids. The problem is that as any pet parent knows, pets and holiday decor don’t always mix well.
Real Christmas trees, seasonal berries, strung popcorn, boughs of mistletoe, desserts, fragile ornaments, candy-filled stockings and flame-lit menorahs are all very commonly found in homes in the lead up to the holidays. And many of those things can pose a danger to pets.
Given that most people start on their holiday decorating as soon as the last of the Thanksgiving turkey is gone there are several weeks that a pet parent will have to devote to to making sure that Fluffy or Fido stay safe around the holiday decor.
However, to help ensure holiday pet safety, there are alternative ways to decorate for the holidays without giving up special traditions. From pet friendly plants to durable ornaments and secure displays, here’s a look at some important holiday pet safety tips for your holiday decorations.
Beware of Poisonous Plants for Dogs and Cats
During the holiday season, people use a variety of festive plants to adorn their home but the most common choices are often poisonous plants for dogs and cats. So, how do we keep that holiday cheer while creating a safe environment for pets?
Silk plants and faux trees are great alternatives for pet-friendly homes. Artificial Christmas trees are safer for dogs and cats because they eliminate the threat of your pet consuming pine needles, which are mildly toxic and can cause a nasty stomach upset.
An artificial tree can also be securely attached to the wall or ceiling for extra stability. You can use invisible wires, which work great for holding your tree in place without affecting the look. Artificial plant centerpieces and boughs of faux mistletoe can be used to create a holiday table that shines without putting curious cats in danger too.
Although not lethal to your pet, poinsettias are known to cause discomfort if ingested. When in doubt, rule out real plants and keep any tempting items out of reach. A happy, healthy pet makes for a less stressful holiday season for everyone.
Blow Out the Flames
Candles are another popular festive addition to the holiday home, but as they are easily knocked over they can pose a threat to kids of the human and the fur variety and even to your home. You don’t have to forego the candlelit look though, just switch the real thing out for can easily be switched out for pet-friendly, battery-operated lighting.
There are plenty of battery-operated candles available that give off a similar light – and in some cases scent – to preserve the aesthetic of traditional holiday lighting without presenting a hazard to your pet. Battery-operated lighting also produces no soot on ceilings, which will keep your home looking cleaner.
Simplifying Your Ornaments
Ornaments add that magical look to the branches of any Christmas tree, providing the sparkle and shine that fills everyone with holiday cheer. However, fragile and breakable ornaments can cause injury to your animals if they are eaten or stepped on.
The easiest way to decorate your tree while keeping pet safety in mind is to use more durable ornaments instead of glass or ceramic ones. If you still find yourself with a few pieces that are very special, but also very fragile, place them at the top of the tree with secure wiring strongly connecting them to the branches.
An alternative to all this is, if your fur kid is a dog, to surround you tree with a pet barrier. Such a barrier will present very little challenge to a cat however, so if a feline is a part of your family going with Plan A would be best!
Whether it’s decorating your Christmas tree, lighting a menorah or furnishing your home with other personal family holiday decorations, holiday pet safety should always be kept in mind. By providing a safe environment for your four-legged friends, this holiday season can be free of close calls and trips to the animal hospital.
Need some extra help with your holiday decorating this year? Our Houston holiday decorating service is just the thing. We’ll come in and help you create a wonderful winter wonderland – a kid and pet safe one if needed – so you can focus on the most important things; family, friends and fun.