Christmas Tree Concerns

Christmas tree season is magical. The trees, lights, and ornaments are a tradition for many families. However, Christmas trees can also create some interesting dynamics. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Ornaments can look just like play toys to your pets.
  • Tree skirts can be mistaken as a pee pad for pets in training.
  • Cords can be dangerous for young pets who chew.
  • Christmas tree water can be strong and cause tummy troubles.
  • Napping under the Christmas tree can be very inviting.

So how do you deal with these issues? Here are a few pointers for helping your pets.

  1. Make sure the lower ornaments are safe for your pets and less likely to be mistaken for a toy. Some dangling ornaments are too tempting for pets (i.e. a yarn ball ornament invites your kitten to grab and go or bat it around). While this can be a point of humor for the family, larger pets can accidentally pull your tree over if they get caught in an ornament. Fabric ornaments are especially tempting, so keep them higher up.
  2. When you put your tree up, wrap some boxes (if you don’t yet have gifts to wrap). Place them under the tree to block access to the cords and tree water. Strategically placed, these can create a healthy boundary for your pets.
  3. If your pet wants to nap under the tree, consider placing their pet-bed close, but not directly under the tree. This can help them enjoy the holiday season without causing problems.
  4. Do your best to prevent your pet from “marking” the tree skirt or relieving themselves. Using boxes for a boundary can usually prevent this in the first place. If not, some patient training may be necessary.
  5. Be careful of placing any edible gifts under the tree or on the ground. Animals can smell through most non-commercial packaging and will go after a source of food left available. And this goes beyond your tree area. Many families place goodies in open dishes during the holiday season where a clever cat or determined dog can get to them. Sugar, chocolate, and candy can be dangerous for your pets.

You know your pet(s) better than anyone else. Intentionally thinking through potential problems can prevent a world of frustration and eliminate almost all dangers. Make this holiday season one to remember…for all the best reasons.


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