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Simple Pet-Proofing in 5 Steps This Christmas

Posted on 2 December 2021
Simple Pet-Proofing in 5 Steps This Christmas

When it comes to Christmas decorations and pets, it’s not exactly a match made in heaven.

Here are some easy ways to pet-proof your home without giving away your Christmas decorations.

 

Christmas trees

Keep it faux

Christmas trees are a centrepiece of Australian homes celebrating Christmas.

And though many homes in Highfields and Toowoomba don’t choose to use living Christmas trees in their homes, it’s important to note that it’s a good thing for our pets that you don’t.

Living Christmas trees are a threat to pets because:

  • The tree supplements (plant food) and water can host toxic materials for our pets like harmful bacteria

  • Pets that chew on tree limbs can ingest sap and  fir tree oils which are a mouth irritant

  • Dogs and cats could swallow pine needles which can get caught in digestive tracts and cause injuries like punctures

If your dog or cat is a gnawer, you should be vigilant even with an artificial tree because the plastic branches and needles can cause similar damage.

Anchor your Christmas tree

If your pet is clumsy or loves to climb, it’s a good idea to secure your Christmas tree this year because toppling Christmas trees can cause injuries to both pets and families at home.

Christmas trees are usually sold with a stand that will hold steady from minor impacts but ambitious and heavyset pets can easily tip them over (along with all the decorations on it).

To prevent this from happening, pet owners should consider anchoring their Christmas tree to a heavy or immovable object in their home. 

 

Ornament and decorations

As well as your Christmas tree, your Christmas decorations can pose a risk to your pets.

Tinsel

Tinsel is bright and sparkly and looks a little bit similar to many cat or dog toys so it’s inviting for our pets. 

Unfortunately, tinsel can be one of the most dangerous decorations for pet owners around Christmas time because if ingested, tinsel can cause intestinal obstructions and fatally injure pets. 

Baubles and other decorations

Christmas ornaments and baubles on your tree and around the house are a hazard for curious pets.

That’s because if they’re made from a fragile material, they can shatter and can cut your pet’s paws or mouths if they try and play with or chew them.

Christmas lights

Christmas lights around your Christmas tree and around the house pose a risk for Australian pets. 

Gnawing and inquisitive pets, like kittens and puppies, could claw or gnaw at Christmas lights and extension cords which can lead to electric shocks or shattered globes. 

Wrapping paper and presents

As adorable as it is to watch our pets play with wrapping paper and open presents, it’s safest not to let them.

Wrapping paper can pose a serious risk to pets by causing blockages and other stomach problems. If a dog or cat ingests enough wrapping paper, they might require emergency surgery.

If you’re like many Australians, you buy Christmas presents for your pets. This Christmas, it might be a good idea to give them their present without the wrapping paper (or to open their presents for them).

 

How to do Christmas with pets

If you’re like the rest of us, you probably don’t want to give up on Christmas festivities and decorations just yet. 

And that’s ok because there are a few easy ways to pet-proof your Christmas decorations in your home like:

  • Decorating just the top area of your tree, and other areas that are out of reach from your pets

  • Avoid enticing and edible decorations like popcorn garlands and candy canes

  • Try avoiding glass, crystal, and other material decorations that could shatter and opt for more pet-safe materials like cotton or plastic

  • Setting up a barrier around your tree and other decorations so that pets can’t interact with them and hurt themselves

  • For powered decorations, hide extension leads plus other cords and use pet-safe cord protectors.

For cat owners: Try using double-sided tape on objects that you don’t want your cat to interact with. Many cat’s don’t like the way that double-sided tape feels and will avoid it where they can.

 

For more Christmas tips:

For more help preparing for this year’s festivities,read 5 Tips For Keeping Your Pets Safe at Christmas.

And if you want to start the new year on the right foot, book your pet in for a general health and wellbeing check-up online or by calling (07) 4630 8399.

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Address22 Highfields Rd, Highfields QLD 4352