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6 Ways to Pet-Proof Your Home for the Holidays β€” Cat sitting in a Christmas tree

6 Ways to Pet-Proof Your Home for the Holidays

Last Christmas was one of the most stressful days of my life.

(Psst, if you're a sensitive soul, skip this story and just jump down for tips on Pet Safety During the Holidays. πŸ’™)

On Christmas Eve, I was sitting down to a fancy dinner with my family in New Orleans when I got a Facetime call from my friend, Roy, who was cat-sitting for me.

Roy turned the camera around to show one of my cats, Smoky. He was tangled in the window blind cords, making a sound I'd never heard before β€” somewhere between a growl and a wail.

Smoky had somehow managed to tightly cinch a cord around one of his paws, and he was completely stuck. The wooden windowsill was shredded from his frantic attempts to free himself. In fear and pain, my poor baby had peed all over my bed and the floor.

I spent most of dinner sobbing into my phone and booked the first flight I could find back to Austin on Christmas Day.

Almost a full year later, I still hate thinking about what happened. I'm so, so grateful Roy was there to cut Smoky down and rush him to the 24/7 vet hospital.

I don't ever want you or your pets to go through anything like this.

(Also, in case reading this story traumatized you as much as experiencing it traumatized me: With medication, rest, and great care from wonderful vet staff, Smoky made a full recovery from his injuries! Here's my sweet man looking out the (thankfully cord-free) window, which is one of his favorite hobbies:)

Smoky the cat sitting on his throne and looking out the window at all the squirrels
(Smoky putting the neighborhood squirrels on notice.)

These days, all of my window-blind cords are safely looped up and out of reach of my curious cats β€”and below, I've put together a list of other ways to make your home pet-safe this holiday season.

These tips are critical to keeping your pet safe, especially if you're hosting parties or going out of town!

Take a look, and consider forwarding this email to your pet-loving family and friends. You might save a life.

Love, LiannaΒ πŸ’™

6 Ways to Pet-Proof Your Home for the Holidays

1. KEEP TEMPTATION OUT OF REACH: Ornaments, tinsel, garlands, and window treatments (especially cords, as I now know!) can be, well, catnip to cats and dogs. So make sure any dangling hazards are well out of paw range.

2. SECURE ELECTRICAL CORDS: Even pets who have never shown interest in cords before might decide that the holidays are a great time to chew on them. Hide exposed holiday light and extension cords using a cheap rubber cover (available on Amazon and in the hardware section of most big-box stores) to prevent the risk of electrocution.

3. BE ON PLANT PATROL: That beautiful poinsettia your Thanksgiving dinner guest brought? It's poisonous to your pet. Holly, mistletoe, and lilies are also big no-nos. See a full list of holiday plants to avoid here.

4. TETHER YOUR TREE: As funny as it is when cats climb the Christmas tree, it's much less funny when the tree falls over and destroys your living room β€” or injures your pet. Use fishing line and a bolt or screw in the wall or ceiling to secure your tree.

5. WATCH FOR DANGEROUS FOODS: The holidays are a prime time for tons of foods that can harm pets, including raisins, chocolate, grapes, currants, onions, garlic, macadamia nuts, and walnuts. And make sure to check ingredient lists for xylitol before letting your pup try any new treats.

6. CREATE A SAFE SPACE: Hosting a party? Consider putting your pet in a room by themselves with treats, toys, and a cozy place to curl up or hide to minimize stress.

Here are the plants that shouldn't cross your doorstep this holiday season:

Chewy's holiday plant list that are poisonous for cats and dogs
(Graphic by Bambi Edlund for Chewy)

Did I miss a tip?

Let me know by commenting below!

P.S. β€” If you're looking for some presents for your cat or dog, we got you covered! Click the button below for some perfect gifts to keep your pet happy and healthy!

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