There’s no doubt that the holidays are an infectious time of year. Spirits are lifted, Christmas music is the only thing on the radio, and it’s time to hang your decorations “by the chimney with care”. But as you’re putting up your holiday décor, are you unknowingly putting your pet at risk?
With the holiday season spreading its intoxicating cheer, it’s easy to get swept away in the tinsel and twinkle, and not think twice about the potential risks of your beautifully decorated home to your dog or cat. We help you with some tips and tricks on how to make your holidays pet friendly, without losing the magic of the Christmas season.
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Pet-Friendly Christmas Decorations You’ll Love
Pets are members of our family too, right? When there are toddlers running around, we take special measures to ensure their safety. Much like tiny children, our furry friends don’t have the capacity to make good choices about what they do and don’t put in their mouths.
The last thing anyone wants around the holidays is an expensive vet bill – or even worse, the death of a beloved pet. The easiest way to avoid an unexpected trip to the vet this Christmas season is to ensure your decorations are pet-friendly!
While you’re ridding your home of your old, pet unfriendly Christmas decor, why stop there? The holidays are a great time of year to declutter your home, and start fresh for the New Year! un-deck the halls, your holiday ho-ho-helpers at LoadUp are here to make the process simple, easy and affordable.
Read on for some pet-friendly decoration tips and ideas that you’ll really love!
Pet-Safe Christmas Trees
Finding a pet-friendly Christmas tree doesn’t have to turn your entire holiday upside down! From artificial to suspended, here are some creative and fun ideas for Christmas trees that are just as beautiful as they are pet-friendly.
1. Artificial Christmas Trees. Natural Christmas trees are very enticing to our four-legged friends, especially cats, who see them as fun little scratching posts. When a playful pet gets into the tree, it could easily cause the whole thing to come toppling down. Not only that, but the activity can leave your poor pet tangled up in lights, or cut by broken glass ornaments that were shaken off during playtime. Live trees also have sharp needles that can actually puncture or scratch your pet’s skin, which could lead to irritation or an allergic reaction.
🎄 Did you know… Pine needles are mildly toxic to animals, and can be lead to nausea, vomiting or more serious intestinal problems when ingested.
Try investing in an artificial Christmas tree, instead. Artificial trees are great because they save you time and money! Not only do they last season after season, but they save you and your hardwood floors from pesky dry needles. They also save you that annual trip to the chipper. Your skin and your car will thank you!
2. Invest in a Medium-Sized Tree. When it comes to choosing a Christmas tree for a home with pet, bigger isn’t always better. Christmas trees that are five feet tall or less are safer than taller trees, which are more likely to get knocked over by excited pets.
3. Traditional vs. Glitzy Trees. It might be tempting to purchase a beautiful flocked tree, or a tree with a lot of sparkle and shine, but those trees are much more tempting to pets than plain, traditional green trees. Trees that have tinsel on them are especially dangerous to pets, as tinsel can get wrapped around pets’ intestines, if it’s ingested. It happens more than you might think! For whatever reason, pets are truly drawn to tinsel – and many times wind up eating it – which can be fatal.
4. Raised Trees. Ok, we know. Raised Christmas trees do look pretty silly. But these funny little Christmas trees help keep ornaments from getting knocked off the tree, and help keep cats out of branches. The best part? There’s a ton of room for presents!
5. Contained Trees. If you must have a natural tree, try using pet gates or an X-pen to block the tree off from unwanted pet traffic. But when it comes to cats, there’s little to no guarantee that a gate will keep them out of it.
After you purchase a new, pet-friendly tree, we’ll haul away your old one for free! Simply book junk removal services for two or more items between Dec. 26 – Jan. 31, and as our gift to you, we’ll haul away your old live tree for proper disposal – free of charge!
Need to get rid of that old tree? BOOK TREE REMOVAL ❯
Non-Toxic Christmas Decorations
1. Simple, Natural Ornaments. Some of the most beautiful ornaments are also the most dangerous. Glass ornaments can get broken and shattered when they’re knocked off a tree. Broken ornament glass is incredibly thin, which makes it difficult to clean up, and incredibly sharp. If you accidentally miss a fragment of broken ornament glass, it could easily cut you or your dog or cat. Try stringing together some popcorn to use as a fun, festive alternative to tinsel. Decorate pine cones to bring personalized flair to your tree. You can also buy wooden ornaments that are cute, fun and festive.
2. Natural Plants. Having beautiful plants around your home during the holidays is a nice touch that adds reds, greens and a lovely scent. However, you need to be very careful when choosing natural plants for decoration. Here’s a list of toxic and non-toxic plants to help you make a safe choice while also bringing beauty to your home for the holidays.
Non-Toxic Holiday Foliage:
- White Orchids: These flowers are non-toxic to pets, and are a beautiful addition to any home. The pop of white amongst your red and green decorations is not only festive, but classy, too.
- Red Roses: Traditional roses aren’t only for Valentine’s Day! Red roses compliment your other decorations and will help ensure that you have a pet-friendly home.
- Christmas Cacti: A bit different than the traditional Christmas flowers, these cute cacti make awesome decorations. With leaves very similar to mistletoe, they are a great replacement for the traditional, toxic plant.
- Poinsettias: These used to be considered very toxic, but are now classified as non- to mildly-toxic. If you do put these Christmas classics around your home, try to put them somewhere that is out of reach of your pets, like on a mantle or window-sill. They can cause nausea and vomiting in dogs and cats.
Toxic Holiday Foliage:
- Ivy & Holly Berries: Although festive, these plants can cause your pets to have diarrhea and convulsions when ingested.
- Lilies & Daffodils: Try to avoid these pretty flowers at all costs. They can be fatal to pets.
- Mistletoe: If you must have this traditional plant in your home, make sure to hang it high and securely. Pets who eat mistletoe can experience a fatal drop in blood pressure.
- Jerusalem Cherry: Although they’re really nice to look at, they cause painful intestinal issues if eaten.
3. Shatterproof Ornaments: There are a ton of options for ornaments that look pretty and delicate, but are actually not breakable! Shatterproof ornaments have come a long way, and don’t look tacky or cheap. You can’t even tell the difference when they’re hanging on your tree – and your pet will thank you.
4. Flameless Candles: Who doesn’t love the small of a festive scented candle during the holidays? If you want to use candles around your home, make sure you put them in a place where your pets can’t knock them over or burn themselves out of natural curiosity. If you simply like the way they look when lit, try a flameless, flickering candle. They don’t have any scent, but they are a great substitute for regular candles.
Unsafe Holiday Decorations to Avoid
1. Tinsel: These fun silver strings might bring life to your tree, but they can end the life of your pet. Shiny tinsel is hard for pets to resist, especially cats, who often chew on it. However, when tinsel is ingested, it can become wrapped around your pet’s intestines, which requires surgery to fix. Many pet owners have lost their beloved animals to tinsel ingestion. Avoid it at all costs.
2. Glass Ornaments: Playful or curious pets that get into your Christmas tree can knock glass ornaments to the floor, causing them to shatter. Fine slivers of shattered glass ornaments can cut their paw pads, or worse, can cut their mouths, stomachs or intestines, if eaten. If you must have glass ornaments on your tree, make sure to hang them securely, near the top of your tree.
3. Snow Globes: Many people aren’t aware that snow globes actually contain anti-freeze, which is incredibly toxic to pets.
4. Artificial Snow: Although artificial snow is only mildly toxic, it still can irritate your pets digestive system and lead to a surprise holiday vet visit.
5. Ornament Hooks: Instead of using ornament hooks, you can use string to hang ornaments, but this is a bit time-intensive. If you prefer ornament hooks, make sure they are secure to the ornament and the tree. Ornament hooks can cause trauma or an intestinal blockage, which requires surgery to fix. Just make a sure to keep your pets confined while attaching ornament hooks to avoid accidental ingestion.
6. Ribbons: They’re so pretty when wrapped around presents and used on wreaths and trees, but ribbons are in the same boat as tinsel. If your pet accidentally eats thin ribbon, it can wrap around their intestines and cause serious, even fatal, issues. If you can’t live without ribbon around presents, make sure to wrap it around all four sides and tie it well.
7. Christmas Lights. If you have a dog that chews everything, it’s probably safe to assume that Christmas lights aren’t “off limits” in their mind. Dogs risk being electrocuted by lights that are plugged in. Even when they’re not plugged in, they still could harm your pet. If they swallow partially chewed glass lights, it could cause serious damage to their digestive tract. A cut or tear in any of the parts of the intestinal tract are very serious and could result in death. Now, we know you can’t do away with Christmas lights all together, so make sure you at least unplug them when you’re not home to avoid an emergency vet visit.
How to Dispose of Old Christmas & Holiday Décor
If this blog inspired you to invest in pet-friendly Christmas decorations and get rid of your live Christmas tree, plants and other decorations, don’t just throw them in the trash! Our friendly, professional junk removal experts can haul away your old Christmas tree, old or unwanted decorations and any other unwanted junk you have laying around, from anywhere inside your home! We offer in-home and curbside junk removal services, convenient scheduling and guaranteed, upfront pricing for our professional, white glove junk removal services.
If you want to know more about LoadUp’s services and what else we take besides Christmas trees and unwanted decorations, visit our online help center or contact one of our friendly customer service representatives. You can also get an upfront, honest quote or use our online booking system to schedule service from the comfort of your home.
🎁 Want FREE Christmas Tree Removal? Schedule two or more items for junk removal from Dec 26 – Jan 31, and we’ll haul away your Christmas tree for free! Spots are filling up fast – claim your gift of free tree disposal from LoadUp today!