December 05, 2017

How to Keep Your Christmas Tree Pet-Free

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree—how very lovely your branches are on my hardwood floor because my cat toppled you over. This year, don’t choose between your tree and your pet. Instead, follow these 5 tips to keep your Christmas tree pet-free this holiday season.
By Kerry Lengyel
‘Tis the season to decorate your Christmas tree with your family members. But don’t forget that your 4-legged family members might want to get in on the fun. Remember that year when Fluffy pawed off all your precious glass ornaments? Or when Fido was running too fast and knocked the tree right onto the floor?

This year, you don’t have to choose between your pets and your tree. Instead, follow these simple tips to keep your tree pet-free—and upright—all season long.
1. Fake or Real?
While the lovely aroma of pine needles and the beautiful natural green color are perks that come with a live tree, fake trees are actually much safer for pets. Your cat or dog may end up chewing on the branches of a live tree, which could lead to a trip to the emergency room due to a punctured intestinal tract or irritated mouth. Consider a fake tree this year if your furry friend eats everything in his path.
2. Location, Location, Location
This may be a no-brainer, but it’s important to find the best place to put your Christmas tree if you have nosy pets (and who doesn’t?). Try to keep the tree away from perches or furniture that your pet can jump on to reach the branches. If you have a room where pets aren’t allowed, consider that your prime tree area.
3. Keep It Up
Making sure your tree remains upright at all times can be a challenge with very active and energetic critters on the loose. Secure your tree to the wall or ceiling with an eye bolt or molly hook along with heavy-duty fishing wire. Also, if you can, elevate your tree so it’s even harder to reach. See if your pets can topple that over!
4. Cover the Water
Filling your tree stand with water is a necessity to keep the tree alive and healthy, but it’s just asking for trouble from thirsty pets. Be sure to cover the stand with a tree skirt to make sure your tree is the only thing that’s drinking the water.
5. Use Deterrents
If your pets just can’t stay away, consider warding them off by applying smells and textures under and on the tree. Aluminum foil or other unfamiliar textures placed under your tree will deter some cats and dogs. Also try spraying your tree with citrus scents, such as lemon or orange, which most cats hate. Of course, be sure that any sprays or repellents you use are not potentially toxic for your pets!
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