5 Ways to Pet Proof Your Christmas Tree
Make It Unappealing
You can help prevent your pets from exploring your Christmas tree by taking these steps to make it less tempting. Start by decorating the tree when your pets aren’t around to keep them from being attracted to the movement of ornaments and ribbons. As you decorate the tree, avoid using any food except oranges. Candy canes, gingerbread, and other treat-like ornaments are hard for pets to ignore, but the citrus in oranges actually serves as a pet repellant.
Anchor the Tree
When you have curious pets at home, you’ll want to protect your tree from getting knocked over. A falling tree is not only a danger to fragile ornaments, but it could result in an emergency vet visit. Take the time to stabilize your tree by using a sturdy tree stand so you can prevent a topple-induced injury. An inherently stable tree is a good first step — look for one with a wide base in proportion to its height. You can also anchor the top of your tree to the ceiling with fishing line attached to a nail or hook as a precaution. Consider positioning your tree in a corner as an extra fail-safe.
Make It Inaccessible
Although you might normally let your pets freely roam your house, consider blocking off the room with the Christmas tree during the holidays. Closing off the space is convenient for controlling your pet’s contact with the tree, and it’s especially helpful when you’re not home to supervise them. If that’s not an option, try to position your tree to achieve optimal protection. Keep the Christmas tree away from any furniture that could be used as a stool and make sure there are no vases or lamps nearby that could be knocked over. If your pet simply can’t be trusted, a dog gate is your best bet to remove access entirely.
Electric cords are some of the more potentially dangerous elements of a Christmas tree. If cats and dogs chew through cords, they can burn their mouths or even electrocute themselves. Battery-operated lights and decorations are safe alternatives. Otherwise, you can secure cords so they’re inaccessible to your animals. Outlet timers are an easy way to automate turning your decorations on and off so having inaccessible cords isn’t inconvenient. Another solution is to hide light cords underneath the tree skirt and secure them with tape to the base of the wall leading toward the outlet.
Reorder Your Ornaments
Despite your best efforts, there’s still a chance that your pet might knock an ornament or two off the tree. But with a little prep, you won’t have to worry about your favorite ornaments getting destroyed. On all the pet-accessible branches, hang shatterproof ornaments. Fabric, wood, and plastic are all sturdy materials that will survive a short fall to the floor. You don’t have to leave your favorite fragile decorations off the tree, just secure them to the tippy top where even the highest jumping cat can’t reach them.
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