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Pet Proofing Your Home for the Holidays

Pet-Proofing Your Home for the Holidays

When decorating for the holidays, the last thing that may cross your mind is pet-proofing your home. But while the bright colors and mouth-watering aromas may attract your pet, some festive decorations may be harmful to them. 

Don't start throwing out the tinsel and ribbons just yet! Luckily there are ways you can still keep the holiday spirit alive through decor while also keeping your pet's healthy and safety top of mind.

Pets and Popular Holiday Decorations

The best way to protect your pet this holiday season is knowing what could be potentially harmful to them. 

How to Decorate With Pets in Mind

Now that you have a better idea of some of holiday dangers to pets, it's time to learn how to decorate in a way that puts safety first.

Keep your tree in a room that is not accessible to your pet. If that's not doable, use a pet gate to keep dogs and cats out of your Christmas tree.

To prevent your pet from drinking the tree water, cover the basin with aluminum foil and then again with a tree skirt. You can also use bitter training aids to keep your pet away from your tree as most contain scents that will deter your pet from getting too close.

Ensure cords to lights, as well as other electrical cords, are not accessible to your furry friends, especially if you have small animals that will be out of their habitats.

Also, make sure candles are never lit while unsupervised, especially if you have a pet who could access it, such as a bird spending time outside of their habitat, an inquisitive ferret wandering around or a sneaky cat or dog roaming the house.

It's always fun to go the extra mile when it comes to decorating, but if you do that, ensure pets are not left to roam unsupervised if you use ribbons on presents or tinsel on trees as these items can cause strangulation or choking hazards. Be sure that poisonous plants such as holly and poinsettias are not reachable to them as well.

While it's important to learn more about what holiday foods may be harmful to pets, if you are a bird parent, remember that preheating Teflon pans can be toxic to our feathered friends.

What to do in an Emergency

If you suspect your pet has gotten into something harmful, or they are showing signs of illness, including vomiting, loss of appetite or excessive water intake, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. If your veterinarian's office is closed for the holidays, call an emergency veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435 (Be advised, there is a charge for this call. Please ask for the cost before proceeding).