The holidays wouldn’t be complete without bright and colorful decorations, and as a pet owner, you want to make sure that your animal companion can also feel the yuletide cheer. That’s why you go out of your way to decorate your pet’s corner with customizable dog placemats, Christmas tree-shaped cat towers, and pet home and living items in seasonal designs to give your house a festive touch. However, you have to make sure that all the other decorations you use in your home are also pet-friendly. This entails using the right types of decorations and pet-proofing certain displays or areas so that your pet doesn’t get into accidents. If you don’t know where to start, here’s a helpful guide to ensure that you and your pet have a worry-free holiday.
Secure and Protect the Main Centerpiece
Decorations like Christmas trees, menorahs, and kinaras have symbolic importance during the holidays, so you put a lot of effort into designing them to make the festive occasion extra special. However, attractive ornaments can grab your dog’s or cat’s attention, and your pet may try to play with the trinket. This may result in your pet knocking over the display and causing a mess in your home. That’s why it’s essential to secure your decorations and install pet-proofing products to protect them from your pet.
For example, if you know that your cat loves to lunge into your Christmas tree, it’s a good idea to secure your tree to the wall with some rope and install a baby gate around it. The gate can deter your cat from getting close to the tree, but if they find a way to get to it, the rope will prevent the tree from falling—thus sparing you from putting it back together. If you're going to light candles as part of your decoration, put them up high so your dog or cat can't get to them. It’s also a good idea not to leave the decoration unattended, especially when the candles are lit.
Restrain Your Pet or Keep Them Out of the Room
When setting up your decorations, your pet might mistake your ornaments for toys and think that you’re enticing them to play. A rowdy pet can be a problem because not only will they make your holiday decorating more cumbersome, but they can also ruin your decorations. Before you start decorating your home, it might help to put a harness and leash on your pet and secure the other end to a sturdy pole in your home so they won’t disturb your decorating activity. You can also lock them out of the room you’re decorating if you prefer. This way, you can decorate in peace since your pet won’t rummage through your ornaments.
Avoid Using Certain Types of Popular Decorations
For a lot of people, tinsel, holly, textured snow sprays, real poinsettias, and ornaments composed of real or artificial pine needles are quintessential decorations to complete their holiday home. Unfortunately, these decorations can place your pet’s life in danger. If your pet accidentally ingests them, they can experience serious health problems like intestinal obstruction, punctured intestinal tract, and gastrointestinal upset. No one wants to go to the emergency room during the holidays, including your pets. So to avoid rushing your pet to the vet clinic, don’t purchase decorative items that contain toxic ingredients, are poisonous to your pet, or are choking hazards.
Distract Your Pet with Toys and Treats
Pet toys and treats are excellent tools that can distract your pet from messing with your holiday decorations. Showing them their favorite chew toy or shaking a bag of irresistible treats will instantly divert their attention away from the décor. Doing this enough times can also teach them to stay away from the decorations and give them a pet-safe alternative to play with. In this way, you can have peace of mind about letting your pet remain unleashed in your home.
Scale Back on the Festive Décor
Sometimes, placing fewer decorations is better for you and your pet. When you’re taking care of a puppy, kitten, or a small pet like a gerbil, having fewer pieces of decoration can lower the risk of your pet getting into an accident. Choosing to go with a minimalist holiday theme can also help you pet-proof your home better, so they can also enjoy the festivities.
Decorating your home for the holidays is always a fun activity. However, if you aren’t careful with how you set up the décor or the ornaments you choose, these pretty decorations can be a detriment to your pet’s health and safety. You want to enjoy the holidays with your pet as much as possible, so family should come first. With the help of this guide, you can decorate your home in a way that’s safe for your pet yet still festive for the season.