From avoiding toxic plants to tossing the tinsel, here are the top ways to dog-proof your holiday decorations this year.
It's that time of year already when your home turns into a winter wonderland, and as we're spending more time at home that ever this festive season, it's even more reason to go all out with the decorations.
For dog parents though, there are some important things to keep in mind to ensure your beautifully festive living space is also a safe place for your furry family members!
Whether it's tossing out the tinsel, or replacing holly and mistletoe with pup-safe alternatives, there's a few simple switches you can make to ensure your holiday decorations are dog-friendly, without sacrificing any of the holiday spirit!
Here are 6 easy, dog-friendly ways to decorate your home for the holidays.
1. Dog-Proof the Tree
This may seem obvious, but if you've got a curious pup running around it's important that your tree is stable so it's not going to tip over and cause an injury.
Invest in a quality stand to secure the base of the tree, and try placing it a corner of your chosen room before anchoring it to the ceiling or wall to minimize the chance of accidents.
"To anchor your tree, loop some fishing line around the trunk and tie it to an anchor, such as a molly bolt, in the wall behind it. You can also tie the line around the top of the tree and tie it to a screw in the ceiling. This will keep the tree from tipping over if a rambunctious dog gives it a bump," advises a post on Rover.com.
2. Choose Tree Decorations Wisely
As attractive as glass ornaments are to you, they're even more appealing to pups who will be desperate to bat them around.
It's pretty much guaranteed that at least one of your prized ornaments will get broken, which is not only sad for you, but broken glass is potentially extremely dangerous for your pup.
So, place any fragile or breakable ornaments high on your tree, or swap them out for some plastic or wooden alternatives.
3. Keep Toxic Plants Out of Reach
When it comes to holiday decorations, holly and mistletoe are classics for a reason. They are beautiful and make any home look festive, but they are also highly poisonous if ingested.
Unfortunately, many of our most beloved holiday houseplants can be toxic to our pups, and although poinsettias and pine aren't poisonous, they can cause stomach upsets if eaten.
Plants that cause the most problems for pets are:
Great dog-friendly replacements include:
- Red Roses
- Autumn Olive
- Christmas Cactus
- White Orchids
If you do decorate with any of these plants, be sure to keep them high up and well out of reach of little paws, or to be extra safe, opt for artificial versions instead.
4. Watch Out for Lose Wires
During the holidays, there's probably a lot more twinkly lights and electrical cords around your home than usual so pet parents need to be extra diligent.
Any electric and battery-powered decorations should be kept well away from your pup, especially if they like to chew as they can receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock or burn.
Any loose cords should be bundled up with protective plastic covers, and any stringed lights should be hung up high out of your pet’s reach.
5. Toss the Tinsel
Tinsel looks great around your home as it's shiny, colourful and fun, but it can be very harmful for your pup. What starts with innocent curiosity can very easily lead to your pup trying to eat the tinsel, which can be potentially fatal.
While it isn’t considered a toxin, tinsel can be easily swallowed and tangled up inside your pet’s system, which may result in your pup needing surgery to have it removed.
So, perhaps it's finally time to ditch the tinsel for good!
6. Don't Tempt with Tasty Treats
Candy canes and cookies make very cute tree decorations, but these should be avoided if you want your tree to stay intact all through the holidays. As for holiday baking, this could disappear in seconds if you aren't careful, so keep them out of your pup's way!
Same goes for chocolate advent calendars - keep them far enough away from your pup that they can't be sniffed out as we all know how dangerous chocolate is for our furry friends!