Everyone loves Christmas trees; the twinkling lights, the shiny ornaments, and that fun, fuzzy tinsel get your family members excited for the upcoming holiday. Unfortunately, all of those things can get your pets a little too excited, and Christmas trees can house a lot of danger for our four-legged companions. Short of hanging your tree from the ceiling, what more can you do to protect the evergreen from your rambunctious animals? You don’t have to throw out the tree just yet! First, let’s try pet-proofing our favorite Christmas staple to make it safer for your fur babies.
Securing Your Tree
Two or three lengths of fishing line is all you need to keep climbing cats and wild dogs from tipping your tree. The FamilyHandyman.com says to tie one end of each fishing line to the top of the tree and the other to something sturdy like a screw or nail. The nail can be driven into an inconspicuous spot on your wall, moldings above windows or doors, or a curtain rod!
Another easy tactic is to place the tree away from furniture. This makes it more difficult for animals that like to climb to reach the tree.
If all else fails, put a baby gate around the tree so your animals have to keep their distance!
What To Do About Your Live Tree
If you’re a fan of getting a live Christmas tree, you already know that you have to keep it watered to avoid it becoming a fire hazard. And what happens when you leave a big bowl of water on the floor where your pets can reach it? That’s right, chances are your animals are already planning to take a big gulp! The issue is that the Christmas tree water is often unsanitary and can be contaminated with tree sap, chemicals, and bacteria if left out too long. Here’s a good rule of thumb: Whatever is added to your tree to make it last longer is probably not safe for your animals to ingest.
So, what can you do to keep your pet safe while still enjoying a live Christmas tree?
The easiest tip is to switch out your tree stand for one with a small water opening. This gives your animals less access to the water in the bowl, so they will be less tempted to drink it. Not looking to buy a brand new stand? Aluminum foil is your best friend. Cover the open water with foil or a tree skirt to make it harder for your pets to reach.
What about the ornaments and lights?
Decorating the tree is the best part, but using fragile ornaments could mean spending Christmas at the vet. Our advice is to hang your more delicate ornaments at the top of the tree and leave the bottom for the studier ones. If you plan to get new decorations this season anyways, look for shatterproof ornaments that will last longer and withstand more.
In regards to lighting, make sure the cords are not hanging where they can tempt your animals, and be sure to cover any exposed cording on the floor. Another safe and ecofriendly option is to use LED lights which have a lower voltage and are less of a danger if chewed.
Finally, be sure to unplug your tree when it’s not being used… just in case.
Keep in mind that animals have their own personalities and can be tricky, so none of these solutions are 100% fool-proof. There will always be some mischief when dealing with more tenacious pets, so try different solutions to see what works for you! It may feel like a lot of work, but it’s worth it to keep you and your pet safe this Christmas season.