This month, Ann Platt, owner of Pets Are Inn, shares some seasonal safety tips for your pets.
Consider an artificial tree or use a covered stand for a real tree so pets can’t access the water. Put your tree in an area that leaves room on all sides without nearby shelves a cat could use as a launching pad. It’s ideal to put your tree where pets can be closed off from exploring while you are away. Deterrents such as Bitter Apple spray or diluted Citronella oil can make your tree unattractive to pets.
Wrap excess cords around the base of the tree then tuck them under a tree skirt. If your pet is a chewer, cover cords with tape or a pipe. Wrap aluminum foil around the trunk to deter cats from climbing.
Decorate with caution
Choose unbreakable ornaments and hang dangly ornaments out of your pet’s eyesight. Do not use tinsel, artificial snow, ribbons or food decorations like popcorn garlands, chocolate and candy canes.If your pet still can’t resist, consider raising the tree out of reach. This can help prevent tip overs, ornament damage and your pet drinking from the stand.
Be careful with poisonous holiday plants including real mistletoe, poinsettias (toxic but not deadly) and lilies (deadly). Choose plastic plants if you’re unsure.
Beware of candles.
No one wants a singed paw. Playful cats can be especially drawn to candles and an excited puppy’s tail might cause an unintended glow. If you must use candles, consider going electric. And make sure the fireplace is secured.
Use a crate.
Whether you’re decorating or baking, a playful pet might want to “help” and put themselves at risk. In this case, drag their crate into whichever room you’re in and let them watch but not participate.
Chocolate and candy
It’s always around in greater quantity during the holidays. Make sure bowls of candy are out of reach or unattractive, and make sure kids and guests are careful about what they might drop on the floor.
If you are hosting a holiday party, make sure your dog’s tags are secure and the kitty has some ID tags on her just in case she manages to slip out the door when no one is looking.
While they are festive, they can also cause intestinal blockage when eaten by a curious pet. Make sure any ribbon is carefully watched or out of reach, or maybe consider wrapping packages with something less attractive to pets.