While there’s nothing cuter than a puppy under your Christmas tree, there’s nothing more disappointing than watching your Christmas tree take a beating (or hit the floor, but let’s pretend that can’t happen). The holidays present conflicting loves: you want holiday lights, cozy comforts and a decked-out house. You also want a happy pet or a surprise Christmas puppy.
So, the question persists: can a tree and a pet exist in the same home? The answer is yes, but you’ll need to follow these tips to pull it off.
Back Away From The Breakables.
First, do the obvious thing – either keep your grandma’s vintage ornaments packed away, especially if you have a puppy sniffing around, or keep them far away from low branches. . . the ones your cat can sniff, bat at and chew.
Remember, you’re not just protecting your sentimental decorations, you must also protect your pet. Ornaments present a choking hazard for our furry family– and the sharp edges, glass, glitter and garland does make things even more dangerous and complicated.
Form A Barrier.
Now that you’ve protected your breakables and your pet from those breakables, it’s time to form a barrier between the pet and tree. You may not need to take things to the next level, but if your cat is interested in your tree non-stop, then it’s a must (or else you may lose your mind!).
Across the web, all sorts of wacky ideas for protecting your tree abound. Aluminum foil (dogs don’t like that ‘crunch’ feeling); tacky mats designed to stop rugs from sliding; tape. Get creative – some folks even suggest Vick’s Vapor Rub because your pets can’t handle the smell. But can you?
Unfortunately, other than a baby gate, you’re going to have to experiment to see what works for your tree-lovin’ pooch.
Make It A Training Mission.
Another approach: just like you would teach your dog to stay off the couch, teach him to stay away from the tree. This is a probably a more time-consuming solution, but far more practical. A side benefit: you can take all the new learnings for tree training and apply them to other things in your home, like “Stay off coffee table,” or “Get away from my turkey leg!” As we all know, the training approach will likely be far less effective for your tree-loving cat, but, heck, it’s worth a try.
Here’s a simple no-nonsense training guide that can help you get started.
Other Tips To Consider
Even if you go the way of training, you’ll still want to take some preventative measures, like keeping food off the tree (hint: no real gingerbread cookie ornaments). This may be obvious to you, but if relatives are in and out of the house this time of year, you may need to gently remind them.
Additionally, you could consider an artificial tree. If you think your tree tipping is a real risk, then an artificial one will be far less damaging and messy in the event your Griswold-Family-Christmas-Moment becomes a reality. You may find artificial trees to be sturdier, too.
And finally, take precautions with your electrical cords. Hide them, minimize them and, if possible, secure them in place. The less attractive and obvious they are to your dog or cat, the better.
Whatever your approach, the team here at Scollar wishes you a very merry, joyous, and safe holiday.