Friday, October 9, 2015

Damage Control: Encouraging Pets to Play Nice With Your Holiday Decorations

Tis the season for giving - and remembering to keep your pets and holiday decorations safe. As if you didn’t have enough shopping, decorating, and caroling to do, you’ll need to do a bit of protecting. Protecting your pets from getting injured by decorations and protecting your decorations from being destroyed or altered by your pets. Encourage pets to play nice with the decorations, or at least to stay away from them.

The Tree

Dogs and cats are keen animals. They notice different smells, other animals’ tracks, and a huge Christmas tree that is now taking up space in the living room. Of course, your pets will be curious. They may even lick the water, bite the branches, and scratch the lights and ornaments. In a worst-case scenario, a curious cat or pup makes a few tugs at a tree that suddenly topples over right on them! To save yourself, the tree, and your poor animal from this avoidable fate, be sure to anchor the tree to the wall.

The Trimmings

Interior decorators love to see a well dressed tree, but they’re likely to go light on the trimmings, if they use any at all, if they’re pet owners. Think of an in-house pet much like a baby; you wouldn’t host any decor that could be possibly digested, obstructing the breathing of little ones. The same could happen to your equally curious and mischievous pets. If it can fit in their mouth, it’s best left off your list of decorations. When dressing the tree and home, think like a fun-loving pet and whether it particular pieces would pique your interest.

The Food

The holiday season brings opportunity for an influx of invites and a few people you wouldn’t mind disinviting.. While attendants are feeling merry and bright, they may leave their dishes and snacks unattended, especially if they don’t have pets at home and don’t know better than to leave food out in the open. Remind guests to keep food within nibbling distance of cats and dogs that are parading around the home and party area. Dog owners know that canines will eat just about anything; if they will chew a sock, tennis ball, or shoe, they will probably tear into a piece of cake, chocolate cupcake, and a host of other foods that will make them sick.

The Ornaments

Those personalized Christmas ornaments are not for your dog to chew or your cat to swat. They are meant to beautify your tree. So, to ensure that nothing happens to your ornaments or your pets, hang ornaments high enough on the tree or other places around the home so that your pets can’t reach.

The Wires

What’s a holiday without multiple sets of lights? It’s a holiday without an incidence of electrocution and fire! If you must employ decor that lights up and draws the attention of pets, be sure such is battery operated. Moreover, try to limit the use of extension cords and power strips. Unfortunately, to cats, wire kind of looks like yarn, and you don’t want your cat clawing or biting live wires!

Jennifer Watson is a full-time mom and has a constant house full of kids and pets. She likes to share her experiences and ideas online and writes for a number of family-friendly websites on a regular basis.

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