By: Deanna Chesnut. M.A.,
Author, Purrs & Promises
To read more: http://www.purrfectalker.net
OH CHRISTMAS TREE
There are a few tricks to having a happy holiday with your pets (and small children). First, prepare yourself for their excitement and wanting to be “help” because of your excitement. All that paper, all that ribbon and that tree to climb! …oh my!
Cats love the “rustle” of wrapping paper and are quite willing to help with unrolling it. String and ribbon are irresistible and very dangerous, especially the “curly” ribbon so keep it out of their reach. Be careful where you aim those scissors—a kitty is super fast and can put a paw between the blades.
To a kid, cat, and puppy, those little bit “parts” are fascinating so guard the plastic screws and connectors that might leave your put-together totally apart and your pet at the vet.
Ah Christmas tree! Cats will try to climb them and there have been many a tree trashed and denuded of decorations while Pet upsets them. Be sure to anchor them to the ceiling or wall for stability. Glass decorations are indeed beautiful but lethal if broken and “the kid” tries to eat the pieces. And all that angel hair, cotton, and especially aluminum icicles can be lethal. Don’t expect the popcorn to still be on the tree in the morning, or, alas, the string which may have gone “down the hatch” of your poor pet.
Be sure to monitor your pets, especially the young ones, if they can access electrical cords…one bite and it could be a very sad Christmas. Pine needles, poinsettias, (and other houseplants), mistletoe and holly, can be very lethal if “the kids” take a bite.
Cats will try to climb a standing tree if they have access to it, and it’s very difficult to make sure they don’t. For puppies, and human toddlers, putting the tree in a playpen, or baby gates at the door to the tree room can help keep everyone safe.
There are many wonderful ways to “make” Christmas trees that still give a festive air. You can purchase safe trees: Search: Wall Christmas Trees. They save space, $, make for easy clean up and storage and still give a festive area to pile the presents. I have seen individual boxes covered with paper and stacked in a tree shape. A decorator outlined a “tree” on the wall with a garland, stuck decorations in the middle and the designer tree looked great.
Be cautious when buying ornaments—paper, felt, cloth, “shatterproof ornaments,” candy canes and old children’s toys are safe for all, glass ornaments are not, and if you have heirlooms, display them somewhere other than hanging on the tippy tree.
Candles and pets should never be together unmonitored. A brush of the tail, a pushy paw that overturns the candle could be lethal to all. Make sure there is a fire screen in front of an open fire (especially if you have a cat or dog with a bushy tail.)
One last remindr: make sure your animals are wearing a collar (safety, break-away collar for cats) with your contact phone number on the outside of the collar. Don’t rely on a “finder” getting your pet to a chip reader at a vet’s office in the holiday season. Also, put big signs on all doors leading to the outside to remind people to be careful of the pets before exiting.
Happy Woofs and Meows to you.