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Decorating the Tree Safely with Pets in Your Home

by Lori Genstein, I've Got the 'Scoop'!, LLC on December 2, 2013

in Pet Health, Pet Sitting, Pets, The Pet Care Biz

Chapman went home for the holidays and will learn about the hazards! He has a Mommy, Daddy, even a Christmas Tree!!! 

chap tree 2

As the holidays approach, and the decorating begins… please remember to do so responsibly, and may your holiday be joyful and safe!!!

A few recommendations I strongly suggest when decorating your tree with pets in the home:

1.  Avoid hanging any glass or breakable ornaments on your tree.     Please DO NOT hang homemade decorations on the tree!!!  To make them, typically, instructions indicate to use salt, flour, and water… if ingested, it may be fatal for your pet!!!

2.  All decorations should be hung at least a foot above your pet’s eye level… if one was dangling in front of my face, I’d want to play with it, too!  : )

3.  Use bread or trash bag ties, as opposed to metal hooks, to hang decorations.

4.  Secure your tree with a tether from the ceiling, wall, or both, depending on the size, to avoid it falling if a pet jumps up or knocks into it when    playing.  Try to restrict playing in the area of the tree… good luck!   hahaha

5.  Do not leave any cords hanging or in sight of your pets.    (See photo above – kitty immediately went for the hanging lights!)

6.  Turn off all lights and decorations when leaving the room.

7.  Avoid using any tinsel, icicles, or curly ribbon due to risk of choking, obstruction, and strangulation.


sneakers xmas

This last suggestion is not tree-related, rather, shopping/gift bag-related…

Snip the handles of all bags, or cut them off completely.

Animals are very curious, and most will stick their heads right in the bags…
My kitty usually goes right through the handles; hence, my extreme caution.
In my home, there are no bags allowed!!! Also, discard any plastic bags… again,
to keep your pets safe from being strangled, ingesting plastic, and suffocation.

Please add any tips I missed in the comments below.  Considering I’ve never had a Christmas tree, and this post is based solely on my observations and experience in pet-proofing others’ homes, I’m sure I’ve overlooked some. : )

See my previous blog post on Hanukkah Safety with Pets While Lighting the Menorah  http://www.petsitusa.com/blog/?p=5771

Wishing everyone and their pets a very Happy Holiday…

Helping to keep beloved furry babies healthy and safe, and pet parents informed!

I’ve Got the ‘Scoop’!, LLC


david tree

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Maria December 7, 2013 at 1:03 pm

Don’t forget about additives. People who have fresh trees sometimes add additives to the water to prolong freshness. READ THE LABEL! If your cat likes to drink the tree’s water make sure you are not adding anything that can make him/her sick. Be sure the water bowl is well covered so kitty can’t get to it!


Lori January 14, 2014 at 12:34 am

Hi, Maria!

Excellent suggestion! I’ll have to be sure to ask my pet parents next holiday season if they’ve added any chemicals to the water.

Thank you so much for sharing!!!



Georgia Picton January 8, 2014 at 2:23 am

You can always play it safe by screening off decorated areas or Christmas trees with a pet gate.


Lori January 14, 2014 at 12:32 am

Hi, Georgia!

Thanks for your comment. Great suggestion! I have actually had some pet parents put up baby gates… even chairs in front of the tree. : )

Thanks again! Lori


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