How To Pet-Proof Your Christmas Celebrations—Because Tinsel And Turkey Are Just So Tempting

Cat plays with ornaments on Christmas tree

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‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, a creature was stirring, twice the size of a mouse. An unsuspecting tree prepped with holiday cheer would land one curious cat on the naughty list this year.

It's a tale Southern pet owners know all too well. With our Christmas trees dressed to the nines in heirloom ornaments, dazzling lights, and classic tinsel, it's no wonder our pets are enamored with our holiday decor. And while a cat batting jungle bells may sound jolly and cute, there are pet dangers lurking around every decked hall.

That's why the experts urge pet owners to take precautions to keep furry friends safe and out of harm’s way during the holidays. “There are several things to keep in mind, from decorations too dropped food in the kitchen," says Jerrah Lamberthy of Southside Pet Clinic in Alabama. "As pet parents we need to be aware of simple things that can turn into an emergency vet visit.”

Whether you're just putting up your tree or counting down the hours until Santa's big arrival, here are the important safety measures to keep in mind for your cats and dogs this holiday season.

Dog stares at Christmas ornament

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Holiday Pet-Safety Tips

Secure Your Christmas Tree

We all know that our furry friends are very capable of peaking their noses into places they shouldn't. Add weight to the base of the tree to ensure that pets do not "accidentally" tip it over. 

Don’t Use Edible Ornaments

Don’t lure pets to the tree by hanging innocent snacks. Stay away from popcorn and other delicious treats to garnish your tree.

Stay Away From Decor That Sheds

Items like tinsel are easily ingested and can cause a huge problem in your pet’s digestive system. If you're a fan of tinsel or other shedding decor, place baby gates or pet gates to keep pets away from your tree and other holiday decor.

Don’t Leave Out Edible Gifts

Yummy gifts will easily grab the attention of your pets. Use edible gifts as stocking stuffers to keep them up and out of reach from your pets. 

Ensure Holiday Plants Aren't Poisonous

Poinsettias, holly, and mistletoe are some of the most poisonous plants for your pets. If you can't keep them out of reach, lean into other fun decorations to bring holiday cheer.

Create a Quiet Space

We love family, but we know they can be loud. It's important that your fur friend has a safe space to go during a lot of extra activity, especially if you plan to host parties. This will ensure less stress on your pets.

Establish an Emergency Plan

Be sure you have a good relationship with your veterinarian and know exactly who to contact if your pet gets a hold of a delicious chocolatey treat. 

Have The Right Gear On Hand

Stock up on crates, bitter and scented sprays, and baby or pet gates to ensure that everyone can celebrate the holidays together.

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