22 Days til Christmas – Pet Friendly Decorating

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Since this is the time of the month where the majority of people start their Christmas decorating, I thought it would be an opportune time to mention some pet friendly tips. These are probably about the same as if you have a toddler running around too… Just avoid problems in the first place, rather than scrambling on what to do when your overly curious dog gets into the Christmas decorations.

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I’ll start with the Obvious:

Avoid Tinsel – It is shinny and cats love to try and eat things that could kill them. So If you have cats, don’t have tinsel. I would use the same rule for dogs that like to get into everything.

Avoid Glass Ornaments – I know they say that they are shatter-proof, but its a lie. Stick to anything that isn’t going to potentially bury itself into the bottom of your foot when it gets knocked off the tree by an excited tail, or a curious cat.

Keep Cords for lights contained-Dogs might chew them, or get tangled in them while playing. Cats might play with them, and nobody wants their pet to get electrocuted or start a fire at the holidays (or ever).

Poinsettias are Poisonous

So are Amaryllis

…and Holly

…and Mistletoe

If you are going to use them in your holiday decor, keep them away from your pets. If your cats jump up on counters or tables, keep that it mind, because they can and will chew on poinsettia. (Trust me). I haven’t had them bother my Amaryllis, but I do keep it in my plant window where there is no room for them to jump up and chew on… If there was, I’m sure they would be in there like a dirty shirt.

Apparently snow globes can contain anti-freeze. So If there is a possibility that your pet is going to knock a snow globe over, then its best to not have it around.

Pine needles that have been eaten can potentially puncture the intestines of your pets, so keep them cleaned up (I haven’t had an issue with this one, but it is a good one to keep in the back of your mind)

You may also want to anchor your tree in some fashion to the wall or ceiling. Excited pets can knock it over, causing a mess you just don’t want to deal with. If you have kittens, they will probably climb up into the tree (especially if its a real one) so keep that in mind.

If you want the light of candles, stick with the battery operated ones, or be sure to never leave them unattended. When I use my real candles, I am sure to never leave the room unattended.

Basically, just use your common sense, and keep an extra eye on your pets. Especially if this is the first holiday for them (or for you together)

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