How to Pet-Proof Your House for the Holidays

21 Dec 2021 | Written by Tori Holmes

It’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, but some pet parents may have to agree to disagree. It’s not uncommon for pet parents to have a tough time decorating their home for the holidays because of their pet’s knack for getting into things they shouldn’t – Christmas decor included.

We’ve put together a list of ways you can pet-proof your home so you can get into the spirit without worrying about your pet this holiday season.

Be mindful of your Christmas tree

A live Christmas tree is the centerpiece of many families' holiday decorations. If you opt for a live tree, be sure to go with fir or spruce, as pine trees are poisonous to cats. Similarly, keep your pets out of the water it stands in. Pesticides or fertilizers the tree was sprayed with can leach into it from the trunk and over time bacteria can begin to grow in the water, both of which can result in an upset stomach if consumed.

Skip the tinsel

Tinsel is a classic decoration, adding a beautiful sparkle to any tree on which it’s adorned. However, this sparkle may attract the attention of your pets and if swallowed, it can lead to serious digestive problems. In some cases, surgery may even be required if your pet isn’t able to pass the ingested tinsel naturally.

Use lights strategically

Lights are another decoration you should be mindful of when you have pets. When decorating your tree, make sure that lights don’t hang below the bottom of the tree to minimize the temptation to chew on them. It’s also a good idea to reinforce the wire that runs from the tree to the plug with a chew-safe cord protector, like Chewsafe. If you choose to use lights in other areas of the house, follow a similar protocol and keep them out of reach of any curious mouths or paws.

Keep holiday plants out of reach

Plants account for a huge share of our Christmas decorations, but not all pet parents realize the risk that some of them can pose. Some of the ones to watch for include:

If you have these plants as part of your Christmas decorations, make sure that they’re in a place that your pet can’t reach.

Use baby gates

If you’re worried about your pet getting into your Christmas decorations while you’re not around, use a baby gate to limit areas of the house they can access. With a baby gate, you can keep specific areas of the house pet-proof during the holidays and focus on decorating spaces your pet can’t access. While these pet-proof rooms may not be as festive as the rest, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your pet is safe and sound while in them.

Keep an eye on their behavior around guests

When you have visitors over this holiday season, keep an eye on your pet’s behavior. Having extra people in the house, even if it’s only a few, can cause your pets to act in abnormal ways. Some get extra excited while others look for a way to hide from the noise – both of which put them at risk for escaping from the house. Knowing this, it’s a good idea to give them a space where they can take a break from the action. A separate room or even their crate makes a great space for them to decompress with a comfortable bed, water, and some toys for entertainment. It’s also a good idea to make sure that their microchip information is up-to-date, as a microchip is their best chance of finding their way home in the event they do escape.

We hope that our pet-proofing tips give you some inspiration for changes you can make around your home ahead of the holidays to make sure that it truly is the most wonderful time of the year for both you and your pet.

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