We Texans love our holiday decorations, and for those of us with a pet we know they do, too. But the problem with our pets’ enthusiasm with the holidays is they don’t always abide by the rules. We’re talking about “down” and “don’t touch,” especially when it comes to the Christmas tree. For those of you who are just now starting to decorate your homes, or if you need some advice on pet-proofing after the fact, here are five ways to pet-proof your Christmas’ centerpiece.
Don’t let them help you decorate in the first place
Okay, we know this one is a stretch, but trust us. By locking your pet up in another room while you decorate your tree you’ll keep them safe without having to eagle-watch them throughout the process. Think about it: bringing the tree into the house, shifting through decoration boxes, and moving furniture are safety hazards you shouldn’t expect your pets to maneuver through.
Pick a good spot for the tree
The tree experts at Balsam Hill recommend keeping your tree away from a cramped location or near any furniture or fixtures. Why? Well, it’ll prevent your rambunctious pal from using any furniture as a makeshift trampoline to get to the tree. Then, to make sure it’s secure anchor it to a nearby wall, ceiling, or doorframe using fishing line so it won’t topple over if disturbed.
Wrap the tree trunk in tin foil
Pets have a thing against tin foil, so to deter them from getting too close to the tree trunk just wrap it in a layer or two of the shiny stuff.
Keep the water basin full, but also covered
If you have a live tree, it’s important to regularly switch out the water in the tree stand’s basin for two reasons. First, bad water can produce bacteria that can be harmful to pets if ingested. To prevent them from drinking it, place a cover over it, which can be purchased in the Christmas decor aisle of your local store. Or, if you don’t have one, you can easily cover it with the Christmas tree skirt, say holiday experts.
The second reason to keep a full water tank is that the American Christmas Tree Association reports that Christmas trees are responsible for 210 house fires every year. So keep the basin full and install the tree at least three feet away from any heat source so it won’t dry out and catch on fire.
Opt for pet-safe ornaments
Shiny and noisy ornaments are the quickest way to a Christmas tree disaster when you have curious pets. Experts recommend hanging shatterproof bulb ornaments or silk ornaments, which rarely get damaged when pets get ahold of them. When it comes to string tinsel, just say no because once ingested the pieces can cause intestinal blockages and sometimes require surgery, says the American Veterinary Medical Association.