Holiday Decorating Tips For A House With Pets

By Tracey Zysk – December, 2012

During the holidays, your household might be a little more crazier than usual with kids anticipating the BIG VISIT, house guests stopping over, decorations everywhere and lots of extra excitement. In fact it can be quite chaotic. Animals feed off of all the extra energy. Take a few extra precautions to make sure your pet has a healthy and safe holiday.

Secure your tree – You really don’t want your cat or dog to knock it over. Especially after hours of decorating it so perfectly. Remember, some cats are tree climbers and some dogs got that wiggly tail that can be quite powerful.

Keep ornaments and decorations out of reach – As beautiful as your ornaments and decorations are they can be dangerous to your pet if swallowed. They might mistake them for sparkly toys and want to play, and no doubt your kitty will want all that tinsel! Put ornaments and decorations, including ribbons, tinsel and bows up higher on your tree so it isn’t as accessible to your furry friends.

Keep edible décor off the floor and lower level tables – If you use food to decorate, such as strings of popcorn, and candy canes, make sure the edibles are high enough off the ground so that your pets won’t be tempted to take a bite. There isn’t a dog I know that wouldn’t want to munch on some popcorn or lick a candy cane.

Gifts of food and snacks for your guests – Keep anything with food in it up and away from your pets. If you are wrapping food as a gift wait and hand it directly your guest to open, don’t put it under the tree. It will be ripped open and a nice afternoon snack for your pet.

Move the plants – Poinsettias and mistletoe can be dangerous to pets when ingested, so keep them well out of reach. Cats love to take a swing at those mistletoe. They think it is a really entertaining toy.

Hang lights out of reach of your pets – Some pets are biters and chewers, so make sure they don’t destroy your lights and hurt themselves in the process. This is especially true if you have indoor rabbits. They love to munch on wires.

Watch the open flames – Make sure lit candles are kept safely away from ALL animals and (children too)…a tail, a whisker or a nose could get burned.

Be careful of the scented gifts – As with the food gifts, once they get a smell of it, they’re going to want it! Wait to put the scented gifts out. No need for temptation.

Clean as you go – Pick up and toss out the wrapping paper as the kids are tearing it off the gifts. This will eliminate any opportunity for your pet to eat something dangerous

Tracey Zysk, owner of Wiggles & Jiggles Pet Care in North Andover MA is a local pet care professional. She has been featured on local radio, tv and newspapers educating the general public on animal care and animal health & wellness. Tracey is a proud supporter of Police, Fire & Military K9 units. Tracey may be reached at Become a fan on facebook at Wiggles & Jiggles Pet Care and follower of