The Christmas season isn’t complete without a beautifully decorated home. When decorating the Christmas tree this year, pet proof your home and create a pet friendly Christmas tree. Here are a few tips for keeping your tree festive and your pets safe.

Choose an Artificial Tree
Many real pine trees have sharp needles that can irritate pet’s skin. These needles are also mildly toxic to animals if ingested. A real Christmas tree can often become a scratching post or climbing structure for curious cats.

Skip the Glitz and Glam
Avoid selecting an artificial tree that is shiny or glittery. These sparkling materials and decorations can become magnets for mischievous cats. Consider skipping the tinsel or ribbons when decorating as these items are often fatal when ingested.

The Sky Isn’t the Limit
Bigger isn’t always better when it comes to Christmas trees. In fact, trees standing above 7 feet have a greater risk of being knocked over by a frisky feline. Medium sized trees, approximately 5 feet tall, are the safest sizes for a pet friendly home.

Avoid Tabletop Trees
Small table top trees can easily become chew toys for daring dogs.

Choose Simple Ornaments
Choosing simple and safe ornaments can help reduce the danger associated with Christmas decorations. Sparkling, dangling ornaments are attention grabbers and pose risks to your pet. Glass ornaments should be avoided if possible as they can shatter and cause serious harm to your pet. Opt for shatter proof plastic or natural decorations to create a pet proof tree.

Steer Clear of Candles
Wagging tails and lit candles are a terrible combination due to the increased fire risk. Flameless candles provide the warm glow of traditional candles without the risk for harm or fire.

Don’t Use Food as Decoration
If you have pets at home, avoid using candy canes, popcorn, gumdrops or other sweets in your holiday decorations. These adorning ornaments appear to be tasty treats to your pets and could lead to a Christmas mess.

Our Kennett Square animal hospital wishes you a safe and happy holiday season!

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