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Blog Posted in avatar   Estelle Page's Blog

How to Pet-Proof Your Christmas Decor

By Estelle Page
Posted Nov 29, 2012 in Lifestyle
For those of use with furry friends, Christmas is a time we either spend worrying or looking like a scrooge. For many animal lovers, it’s become a case of choosing between Christmas decorations, or worrying that you’ll come home to your kitten with a belly full of tinsel.
So, here are a few tips and tricks that will ensure that your pets will avoid the vets, and you will be able to spread the festive cheer along with everyone else!
Some Decorations are Off-Limits
Unfortunately, some decorations are just not a good idea. Tinsel, if ingested, can clog pets’ stomachs and require surgery to remove, and glass ornaments and baubles are easily broken and can be dangerous to your pet if you’re not there to clean the mess up immediately. Dogs are also prone to devour chocolate decorations hanging from your tree!
Plants and Foliage
Remember that real Christmas trees are not a good idea, as pine needles can puncture your pet’s internal organs if ingested, and are also exceptionally toxic to them. Try using a fake tree and spritz with bitter apple spray, which may stop them attempting to chew or climb on it.
Make sure your tree has a heavy stand that your pet won’t be able to knock over – although if you have a Great Dane, this may be a little tricky! Think about forgoing your two metre high tree, and opt for a small one instead that you can place on a piece of furniture, though make sure it’s out of the way of indoor lights and fragile vases to avoid accidents if your pet does knock it down.
If you like to have other seasonal plants, like mistletoe or poinsettia, dotted around your home, keep these out of reach of your pet, as they are toxic when ingested.
Your Pet’s Point of View
Think about your decor from your pet’s point of view. Do you really want that feather-winged angel topping your tree when from your cat’s point of view it looks suspiciously like a bird? And what about those ornaments hanging on lower branches, that to your puppy look like some fun new playthings?
Make sure to keep your decorations off the bottom few branches, and try to use ones that won’t hurt your pet. Wooden figures, solid plastic and fabric decorations are your best bet, as if your pet does get a hold of them, they won’t be damaging to them. Rather than simply hanging decorations, use wire to wrap them around branches to make them more difficult to remove.
If you have string lights anywhere, make sure you tape any loose wires to the floor or wall so your pet won’t chew them or get tangled up. LED ribbons can be safer than traditional fairy lights, as they won’t shatter if chewed.
Simple Deterrents
It’s not only bitter apple you can use to deter your pets from your decor. They also dislike the smell of citrus and cloves, so try spraying citrus oil on your decorations. For a more festive twist, dry orange slices in the oven, attach them to wire loops, and hang them from the bottom of your tree. You could also stud whole oranges with cloves and use these near the things you want your pet to leave alone. To humans, this is simply the delicious smell of Christmas-time!
If you can, make sure to close off the room with your tree and presents when you’re out or asleep, or if that’s not possible, use a wire pen to keep things safe. After all, who wants Scruffy unwrapping all of the gifts and spoiling the surprise for the kids?
Do you have any more tips on how to pet-proof your Christmas decor?

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