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The pet-friendly apartment – Christmas edition

The pet-friendly apartment – Christmas edition

Few things really set the mood for the winter holidays as decorating your apartment does. Sure, you can have Christmas carols playing in the background all day long. You can even binge-watch Christmas movies while loading up on cinnamon cookies and eggnog, but it won’t really feel like Christmas until you’ve hung that mistletoe and lit up that tree your apartment.

As a responsible, renter’s insurance-carrying tenant, you already know most dangers to look out for during the season (faulty Christmas lights, unsupervised candles, etc.). However, as a brand new pet owner your responsibilities have just doubled. Not only are you responsible for your own safety, but that of your pet as well. And you’ve also got to be on the look-out for all the trouble they can get into with their loveable, goofy ways.

One of the first and easiest steps you can take to give yourself peace of mind, especially during such a stressful time as the winter holidays, is to add a Pet Damage Coverage to your policy. Resident Shield’s Pet Damage Coverage for example, offers you $500 in liability coverage in the event of pet damage to the apartment.

As a pet owner, the number one danger in your festively decorated apartment is the Christmas tree. Both dogs and cats have a penchant for running around, knocking things over, as you’ve already experienced. But the Christmas tree is a whole new ballgame. The tree smells intriguing, the twinkly lights are enthralling, and all the sparkly, colorful, and gently swaying tinsel and globes are simply irresistible, especially to cats. While you might not mind a few cheap broken globes or some eviscerated tinsel, you need to be aware that your pets won’t simply break them.  They (or you) can step on the shards and they could swallow them. It won’t even take a cat or dog much to pull the entire tree down onto himself. If you can’t forgo a decorated tree, make sure you secure it. If you think a pack of Christmas elves on a sugar high could knock it down, so can your cat.  Make sure the base is super stable and the tree itself is tied to something.

Next stop: the shiny decorations. If your pet is attracted to shiny things, considering using decorations with a matte finish or made from more natural materials such as wood, cardboard, felt, straw, etc. This way, even if your pets get their paws on them, the chances of hurting themselves are significantly smaller. And a piece of swallowed felt won’t put them in nearly as much danger as a shard pf glass or plastic.

Speaking of shiny things, be very careful with wrapping paper, especially candy wrappers. While chewing up and swallowing some simple wrapping paper probably won’t hurt your pet, things like tinfoil and plastics can present a threat to their life. Make sure you dispose of all wrappers as soon as the present was opened.

Of course it’s not only candy wrappers you need to be careful with, but also the sweets themselves.  And generally all types of human food. While Fido might give you his biggest puppy eyes, you must resist! Not all human foods and spices are pet-friendly. And candies are especially dangerous. Chocolate, for example, can be downright deadly. Do not give them any human food, no matter how hard they beg. If you know you have a hard time resisting, keep some pet treats within easy access.

But it’s not only man-made holiday items that are toxic to pets. Be very careful to hang  decorative holiday plants out of the reach of your pets, as staples such as holly and mistletoe are quite poisonous.

As an extra security measure and also because it’s Christmas and he deserves it, buy your pet some new toys. The best toys are the ones that require a lot of attention, such as pet activity toys and puzzle games. This way, he’ll be way too busy with his own stuff to chew up yours or murder your holiday wreath.

Have yourself  a Merry Christmas!