How to make your Christmas tree pet safe

Christmas trees can pose a lot of hidden dangers to household pets. Here's a quick guide for the festive season that explains how to make your Christmas tree pet safe.

Chocolate decorations

Many families love to have a few chocolate decorations on their tree at Christmas. Chocolate, however, can be toxic and poisonous to many pets so you won't want them to be in easy reach. We advise that if you do use chocolate decorations on your tree that you place them as high up as possible so that your pet cannot reach them.

Tinsel!

Whilst tinsel can add a great finish to any Christmas tree, it can cause a real hazard for pets like dogs. It's very stringy and will easily get stuck in your dog's throat if he or she decides to have a sneaky chew on it while you aren't looking. Old tinsel often contains traces of lead, making it potentially toxic too. We recommend either not using tinsel, or making sure that your pet cannot reach it.

Fairy lights

A set of fairy lights at Christmas may also prove tempting for a household pet to interfere with. Small animals like rabbits, or even kittens, may decide to have a quick nibble on the electrical cord of the fairy lights. This is obviously incredibly risky. We recommend either taping the wire to the wall, or using some sort of cover or trunking to conceal it.

Under the mistletoe

Festive plants like mistletoe and holly often have berries that your pet might fancy a quick chew on. This can be particularly dangerous and lead to serious illness if your pet consumes them. Always place decorations like this as high as possible in the tree.

Protect the base

If you water your Christmas tree, there's a good chance that there will be a pool of drinking water at the base. If your pet is thirsty, this might prove a tempting watering hole. You'll need to prevent this, so make sure you cover the base of the Christmas tree as necessary.

Ribbons and gift wrapping

Presents under the tree may prove too interesting to ignore for your pet. A dog or a cat for example might decide to have a chew on the end of a ribbon or a ball of wrapping paper. This can be dangerous, so be sure to think about what you are putting under your Christmas tree.

There's numerous other ways to help keep your Christmas pet safe. Why not use a puppy gate or fence to stop your dogs getting to the tree? Why not keep treats nearby to give to your pet when they get too close to the tree? It's all common sense, so just use your imagination. No-one knows your pets better than you do.

Christmas is a fantastic time of year, and your Christmas tree will no doubt be the centre piece of the house for a few weeks. Just be sure to think about your pets too, and what hazards the tree may pose.

With a bit of careful planning, these dangers can be easily avoided, leaving both you and your pets to enjoy Christmas together.

Merry Christmas to you and your pets!