Make it a safe holiday season for your dogs, cats, and other critters.

By Carol Osborne
November 01, 2016
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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Comments (1)

December 2, 2020
When I had a little boy fur-baby, he would urinate on the packages beneath the tree. No amount of any spray deterred him from his mission. My solution that worked well, was to get a little picket fence garden edging rom the hardware/outdoor store, and place it around the tree. It looked cute, could be decorated up, and it did the trick! Now, I have a Doberman, and I am not sure how I will keep her out of the tree and ornaments, but at least, she will not be lifting a leg on it!!