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3 Simple Ways to Pet-Proof Your Home for Christmas

Posted on 1 December 2021
3 Simple Ways to Pet-Proof Your Home for Christmas

What’s Christmas without the decorations and festive food? And what’s Christmas without our furry friends? Unfortunately, the two don’t go so well together.

Here are 3 easy ways to pet-proof your home for Christmas.

Pet-Proof Your Christmas Tree

Keep it artificial

In December, Christmas trees are the centrepiece of our homes because they host most of our favourite decorations and we can hide our presents beneath them.

And though most Gold Coast homes don’t use living Christmas trees, it’s important to remind everyone that there’s a number of good reasons not to, like:

  • Dogs and cats could chew on the branches and ingest fir tree oils which are a mouth irritant

  • The plant supplements provided to the tree are toxic to our pets if consumed

  • Our pets could swallow pine needles which can get caught in their digestive tract and cause fatal injuries

If your pet is a gnawer, you should watch them around artificial trees too because the small faux leaves and needles can cause similar damage (though it’s less tempting because it doesn’t smell interesting).

Keep it steady

If your pet is a climber, is rough and tumble, or is just generally a bit clumsy, you might want to secure it.

Though Christmas trees usually come with an attached stand consisting of three or four legs, our pet’s weight is usually more than enough to tip it over.

To prevent this from happening, dog or cat owners should anchor their Christmas tree to a solid immovable object in their homes like a structural wall or counter. 


Be careful with your decorations


Christmas ornaments are unfortunately just as hazardous as the Christmas tree for curious pets.

If they’re fragile, baubles and other decorations can shatter and cut your pet’s paws or mouth if they try to bite or play with them.


Tinsel is up there with one of the biggest dangers for pets. It’s fuzzy, sparkly, and can be tempting for inquisitive animals.

But, if ingested, tinsel can cause intestinal obstructions and can fatally injure our pets.


Like tinsel and baubles, Christmas lights pose a risk for both dogs and cats in Australian homes.

If chewed, the lights or cord could cause an electric shock and the bulbs themselves could shatter too.

Extension cords can pose a similar threat.


Keep the presents in Santa’s sack for now

Your Christmas presents can be a tempting toy for pets because they’re new and they look exciting.  Wrapping paper is tempting to pets because it’s new and sounds crinkly which can be exciting to dogs and cats.

If eaten, wrapping paper can cause blockages and other stomach problems. If a pet eats enough wrapping paper, they may need emergency surgery.

If you’ve bought presents for your pet, it’s a good idea not to leave them wrapped under the tree because it’s likely they can smell what’s inside and will try and open it.

As cute as it is, it’s best not to let your pets play with wrapping paper or open presents.


Top Christmas pet-proofing tips:

If you’re like many Australians this Christmas, you probably aren’t ready to give up on your Christmas decorations just yet. 

But, you’re in luck because you could try these tips before getting rid of them:

  • Avoid tempting decorations that look similar to your pet’s toys

  • Avoid edible decorations like popcorn garlands or candy canes

  • Don’t decorate the bottom of your tree or anywhere within reach of your curious pet

  • Try avoiding glass or crystal ornaments that would break and shatter

  • Set up a gate or barrier around your tree and decorations

  • Hide your cords and use protectors that will prevent pets from gnawing and chewing.


For more Christmas tips:

Reedy Creek Veterinary Surgery is here to help dogs and cats with their general health and well-being and services like vaccinations, microchipping and more. 

If you’re looking to start the new year on the right foot (or paw), book your dog or cat in for a routine check-up online or by calling(07) 5593 8395.