The holiday season is both exciting and stressful, isn’t it? For every present you buy there is another one that you now have to wrap. And if you are a pet owner, you know that as you trim your tree or hang your lights, that there’s a high likelihood that some of your decorations might not make it through the end of December without being ruined by a curious kitty or playful puppy. If you love your pets, but also want to keep them away from your beautiful holiday decor, you need a pet friendly holiday home!
Twine Is Your Friend
We’ve all seen the memes and heard the stories of cats climbing in, sleeping under and tearing down Christmas trees. Between the shiny lights and the sparkly bulbs cats just can’t seem to resist the shining treasure of holiday decorations.
One sure fire way to keep your tree standing tall is to tether it before decorating it. Wrap twine or a very thing rope around the center of the tree and tie two ends of it on a nail on the wall or on a nearby window latch. Make sure it is tied off at multiple locations! This is a tried and true way to keep your tree upwards from one crazy cat lady to another!
Keep Things Up High
As much as possible, try and keep all of your holiday decorations up high. This includes any surface where a cat can jump or a dog can reach while on his hind legs. If they can’t reach it, then they won’t be able to destroy it. Many decorations contain lights and/or plastic that can be very harmful to pets if eaten. Young pets, in particular young puppies, who love to chew on everything will eat just about anything they can sink their teeth into. Kittens on the other hand, are notoriously dangerous to any ornaments that hang down low on a Christmas tree.
While your pets are still babies, take extra caution to keep these things out of reach. Don’t decorate the tree as low for just this year or make sure ornaments are properly secured. Also make sure anything that has real fire associated with it, such as a menorah, is somewhere out of reach as if it gets knocked down it could create a fire.
Expert tip: If you have an artificial tree, you can put the ornament on the branch and fold the tip over the hook creating a knot over it so it’s much harder for pets or kids to pull them off the tree!
Provide Necessary Distractions
Try purchasing extra dog chews, squeaky toys, tennis balls and cat toys this time of year! This will provide your pet with something of their own to play with or chew on so they will be less likely to go after your holiday decorations or items.
Crime and Punishment
Like other areas of pet rearing, teaching them what’s acceptable behavior and unacceptable behavior can be applied here as well. Teach your pet that it is not okay to get into holiday decorations by pointing at the item and telling them no. This is very similar to house breaking or litter training them.
If the animal continues to get into a particular item, move it somewhere that they cannot get to or even fill a squirt bottle with water and spray them when they go after it. This won’t hurt them but will be annoying enough that they should stay away.
Obviously you don’t want to stress your beloved pet out with this training process either though so use your discretion here. If all else fails, gate off the area with a baby gate or cardboard cut outs.