Holiday House Proofing

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Hobbes.

We recently welcomed Hobbes, a five-month-old kitten, into our little pet family. He is everything sugar and spice and so much trouble. No picture frame, plate of food, or anything not nailed down is safe from this adorable orange monster. As someone who counts down the days until it’s acceptable (Can we all agree on the day after Thanksgiving?) to start decking the hall with holiday cheer, I knew that some precautions were going to have to be taken because of Hobbes.

Here are some “Hobbes proof” holiday ideas for the home to keep your pet safe and on Santa’s nice list:

  • A Christmas tree is a wonderland of pet hazards. Specifically, those dangling ornaments and the hooks used to hang them with care. Consider placing keepsake or delicate ornaments that have small parts out of paws reach by displaying them on the upper half of the tree. Keeping more sturdy ornaments towards the bottom, avoid using metal hooks when possible. Also, skipping the tinsel is a good idea. If ingested, tinsel can easily become entangled with organs making it the #1 foreign body surgery of the holiday season. Usage of a baby gate would also work well in keeping pets away from the tree.
  • Next are Christmas lights. With his history of nibbling on phone and laptop chargers, lights are going to be Hobbes’ Achilles heel. Consider purchasing electrical cord covers to keep any low hanging wires from the Christmas tree or window displays inaccessible to pets with a chewing addiction.
  • Tissue paper, bows, and ribbons, oh my! I know I am not the only one who takes great pride in my gift wrapping abilities, but this year I am foregoing the ribbons and bows in favor of decorative tape. Also, consider putting any presents containing food or gift baskets in a safe, secure area to avoid them getting opened early by prying kitties and doggies. Chocolate toxicity emergencies are greatly increased during this time of year.
  • Seasonal plants such as Poinsettia, Ivy, Mistletoe and Holly are a classic part of creating a wintery atmosphere but, unfortunately, are toxic to pets. Symptoms can include; vomiting, internal irritation and even convulsions, not worth the risk to your pet’s health or the bah humbug of spending time at the emergency hospital.