As you get ready to decorate your home for the festive season, remember that from a cat’s perspective, a holiday tree in the living room is deemed there for climbing and feline fun. And, whether it’s a real tree or an artificial one, your dog may consider it a conveniently placed indoor bathroom.
Here are some simple safety tips to keep decorations intact and pets out of harm’s way.
- Avoid hanging edible ornaments—including festive dog treats shaped like Santa Claus or gingerbread men—or decorating with small toys, such as catnip-filled mice and brightly colored crinkly balls. Most pets are unable to resist the urge to investigate, potentially causing damage to the tree or hurting themselves in the process. Similarly, edible and catnip-infused gifts should never be left unattended.
- Discourage feline and canine interest in the tree by sprinkling the tree skirt and lower branches with ordinary household ground white pepper or spraying them with a nontoxic taste deterrent.
- Poinsettias are popular holiday flowers often used to decorate the base of the tree, as well as other places throughout the home; however, the white, milky sap in their leaves is toxic to pets. Consider using...