Make it a safe holiday season for your dogs, cats, and other critters.
Pet Proof Cat Sitting Under Christmas Tree
Credit: Alena Haurylik/Shutterstock

You know to hang the breakable ornaments up high and skip the irresistible tinsel, but what else can you do to keep your Christmas tree and pets safe? Integrative veterinarian Carol Osborne, from Chagrin Falls, Ohio, shares her best advice.

1. Give it a spritz.

Fallen pine needles are sharp and can actually puncture your pet’s tongue, paws, and even intestines. (Ouch!) Deter curious cats and dogs by spritzing the whole tree with a 50-50 mixture of red-pepper sauce and water.

2. Anchor it.

Worried your cat will get stuck up in your tree? Make sure it’s secure! Run a 200-pound invisible fishing wire from the trunk to a hook on your wall or ceiling to keep it from toppling if a climber gets too adventurous

3. Watch the water.

Christmas-tree water may contain preservatives and traces of fertilizers, which can upset your pet’s stomach if she goes in for a slurp. Refill the water often, and keep the bowl covered tightly with a tree skirt.

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