While a Christmas tree is an essential component of the holiday experience, they can be a huge hassle if you have pets. The flashing lights and ornaments can come across as a fancy playground to our cats and the beautiful skirt can sometimes be confused as a swanky new toilet. Here are a few tips to pet-proof your tree.
Ditch the tinsel – If ingested, tinsel can kill your pet. Forgo the messy stuff and go with other festive decor like vibrant ropes, ribbons, etc.
Guard the water – Tree water can be problematic as it can contain fertilizers, molds and bacteria. Just a few drinks can make your dog or cat extremely ill. To keep your pets safe, place a bag over the tree stand or invest in a pet-proof stand.
Spray to prevent play – Cats have a sense of smell that’s twice as strong as ours so spraying your tree with strong scents can prevent them from playing in the tree. Make a homemade solution of one part natural oils (i.e. citronella, peppermint, citrus) with three parts water and spray the base and leaves of your tree. While the smell of the oil will eventually fade for you, your cat will be able to smell it much longer.
Provide an uncomfy base – To keep pets away from the base of your tree and prevent them from climbing it, place aluminum, double sided tape or chicken wire around the base of your tree. Cats, especially, don’t like the way these materials feel on their paws.
Tube the lights – Nibbling on Christmas light cords can be dangerous and even fatal for your pets. To prevent chewing, feed the trailing light cords through paper towel or gift wrapping tubes.
Go faux – When in doubt, ditch the real thing and opt for a fake tree. No water and no messy needles.
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Have a safe and happy holiday!