Pet Articles: Lifestyle

Our Best Holiday Decoration Tips for Pet Parents

Deck your halls the pet-friendly way!

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image of dog curled up in front of fire

Keeping our furry friends safe is a year-round priority. Make sure the most wonderful time of the year stays wonderful (and accident-free!) with our holiday decorating do’s and don’ts.

Tips for trees

With a little advance planning, Christmas trees can be safer for your four-legged family members, too.

  • Keep breakable ornaments at the top of the tree.
  • Avoid using wire hooks — they can cause serious damage if swallowed. Try loops of string tied with a knot instead.
  • Stabilize the tree with clear fishing line to avoid tip-overs by energetic pals. Tie one end of the line to the tree and the other end to a sturdy support, like a hook in the wall or a curtain rod.
  • Avoid shiny strings of tinsel or edible ornaments that your buddies may be tempted to snack on. Stick to larger, less-enticing decorations — like thick cloth garlands or wide-ribboned bows — that are just as festive without the risk.
  • Keep your buddy out of the Christmas tree water (which, if treated with fertilizer or preservatives, can be toxic) using a pet-proof cover or strategically placed baby gates.
  • If all else fails (or you’re a minimalist at heart), try a Christmas tree wall decal. With a 2D tree, there’s not much for fur-babies to get in trouble with!

Festive faux foliage.

Popular holiday plants like holly, mistletoe, amaryllis, and lilies — plus common Christmas tree varieties like spruce, fir, and pine — can all be toxic if your pet ingests them. If you love a leafy holiday look, stick to artificial greenery and silk flowers. 

Stocking savvy. 

If you’re hanging stockings, keep them high enough that your pal can’t tug them down (and possibly get hurt in the process). It’s also smart to postpone filling stockings until the morning they’re opened so little noses aren’t tempted by the smell of treats. 

Once your space is secure for your buddy, it’s time to have fun! Try these activities with a decorative spin:

  • Easy photo wreath: Print photos of your favorite moments with your pal throughout the year, then use wooden clothespins to secure them to an artificial wreath base. Hang it up high out of reach from any curious paws or noses.
  • Salt dough paw print ornament: Mix equal parts salt and flour, then knead in enough water to make a pliable dough. Shape the dough into a thick disc and gently press your buddy’s foot into it. Form a hole in the top of the ornament with your fingers; it’ll hold the string later. Bake the ornament at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for two to three hours, checking regularly for signs of cracking. After cooling, suspend it high on your tree with string.
  • DIY pet stockings: Follow our simple instructions to make an easy handmade stocking for your cat or your dog.

Have a warm and fuzzy holiday season!