If you’ve seen the Chevy Chase movie “Christmas Vacation” you may remember the scene in which the cat chews the Christmas lights and explodes under a chair in the living room. While used for comedic effect in this movie, holiday lights do pose a real threat to pets during the holiday season.
Pets are often tempted to chew on electrical wires, including our holiday light wires. Chewing on wires can result in your pet receiving an electric shock or electrical burns in and around the mouth. Chewed cords also become a fire hazard. There is a much greater chance that damaged holiday light cords will lead to a fire.
The light bulbs can also prove dangerous to our pets. Incandescent light bulbs are made of glass and are fairly easy to break. If your pet chews on the light bulb it has the potential to break in their mouth and cut them. Incandescent light bulbs also become hot, especially if left on for an extended period of time.
Another potential holiday light danger is the risk of a pet becoming tangled in a string of lights. If you have a very curious pet, you may want to restrict their access to rooms with holiday lights when you aren’t there to supervise.
- You can discourage pets from chewing on holiday light cords by placing them out of reach. For instance, hang lights in high locations, and don’t extend your holiday lights to the base of a Christmas tree.
- Bundle excess cords together and place where pets can’t reach. You can also buy wire covers at home improvement stores that will prevent your pet from chewing.
- Unplug lights before leaving your home, or when pets are unsupervised. This reduces the risk of electric shock, burns and fire.
LED lights are a safer alternative to incandescent holiday lights. LED lights have become popular within the past few years and can be found at most stores.
- LED lights generate very little heat – much less likely to burn!
- LED light bulbs are plastic and quite durable – harder to break when chewed!
- LED lights use 80-90% less energy and last far longer than incandescent lights, so LED lights reduce waste!
Jennifer Kean is a writer and pet-lover who owns two rescue kittens (lifetime cat owner too!) and has a 40 gallon fish tank!