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How to Pet-Proof Your Christmas Tree

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Lights, Plants and More

Christmas lights should be positioned away from the very bottom of the tree unless you are sure that your pet has been successfully trained not to chew on the cords. Electric cord injuries are very damaging to the mouth tissue and can lead to long term problems with eating, amongst other issues. Check the electric light cords frequently for signs of chewing.

Other tree decorations that can be hazardous to pets (and children, for that matter) include angel hair — a spun glass or pvc decoration, garland, lit candles, mistletoe, poinsettia plants, and holly berries. Decorations that are not a part of tree trimming, but that are also worth mentioning are advent calendars, in which candy is placed in the small numbered cubbies; and liquid potpourri, which can be spilled or ingested.

It is safest to stick to artificial plants and plastic or unbreakable ornaments, just to be on the safe side. When you can rest in the knowledge that you have done everything to make sure your pet cannot be harmed, then everyone can share in a happy, healthy holiday season together.

See Also: A Truly Eco-Friendly Christmas Tree

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Read more: Cats, Christmas, Dogs, Everyday Pet Care, Family, Green Decorating, Hanukkah, Health & Safety, Holidays, Holidays & Gifts, Home, Household Hints, Life, New Year, Pet Health, Pets, Safety

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Nicolas, selected from petMD

petMD is a leading online resource focused solely on the health and well-being of pets. The site maintains the world's largest pet health library, written and approved by a network of trusted veterinarians. petMD was founded to inspire pet owners to provide an ever-increasing quality of life for their pets and to connect pet owners with pet experts and other animal lovers. For more information, visit petMD.com.

179 comments

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6:28PM PDT on May 27, 2013

Good to know all of this. Thank you.

10:20AM PST on Feb 28, 2013

my cat is evil to my tree

7:48PM PST on Dec 25, 2012

Good tips, thank you.

7:48PM PST on Dec 25, 2012

Good tips, thank you.

4:02PM PST on Dec 24, 2012

Hi Wyleen C. your cat Gizmo remembering me the one of seven cats of my neighbour. Unbeliveble.... Hope nothing bad happen during the winter holidays rondom the Christmas tree. Have a save Christmas! :)

10:27AM PST on Dec 23, 2012

thanks for sharing :)

2:45AM PST on Dec 22, 2012

Catherine, are the ornaments made of real straw? If so, there's your answer. If they're made of plastic, they could have corn starch in their coating. Cats love that (my younger cat has an awful habit of licking plastic bags - drives me crazy, trying to keep her away from them).

10:24PM PST on Dec 21, 2012

I got some Swedish straw snowflake ornaments recently that I thought would be great for the tree around my pets, being virtually indestructible. Dog chewed one, and the cats are licking them. What are they painted with that's so delicious?

9:27PM PST on Dec 19, 2012

Thanks for the tips....but is there really anywhere that would be visible to guests that is out of reach of a cat?!

4:45AM PST on Dec 17, 2012

thanks, not using a real tree - save the trees!

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