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Pet-Friendly Holiday Decorating: 5 Things to Avoid

December 11, 2020 | Zach Child Zach Child

Decorating for the holiday season is common in most households across the country. But if you own pets, some decorations pose risks for your fuzzy friends.

December is here, and you know what that means. That’s right, it’s time to start decorating!

Every person holds different meanings for this time of year, but one thing we all have in common is the love for decorating our personal spaces to match the season. Christmas is the most widely practiced holiday in the U.S., and nearly every regardless of religion or personal beliefs joins in the celebration.

Decorating is simply fun.

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At Sundae, we pride ourselves on our ability to provide homeowners with ample knowledge to sell their homes. But part of selling is loving and caring for your property. That’s where our team of experienced designers comes in. They share design tips on topics ranging from Thanksgiving decorating to how to maximize outdoor spaces to create an outdoor oasis.

In this article, we’ll discuss pet-friendly holiday decorating.

If you own a dog, cat, or other winged or four-legged friend, there are great opportunities to create a wonderful pet-friendly vibe during the Christmas season. But be aware that some decorations can pose serious threats to the furry members of your family. Here are five things to avoid when decorating a holiday home with pets.

1. Avoid using plants and flowers that could be dangerous to your pets if ingested.

It may come as a surprise, but some of the most common and festive holiday plants and flowers are also potentially toxic to your pets. Plants to look out for include:

  • Poinsettia
  • Mistletoe
  • Peace Lily
  • Chrysanthemum

Although we all want to meet that special someone under the mistletoe on Christmas Eve, we need to be aware that this famous holiday decoration can have serious implications for our pets. If you want to hang mistletoe, be sure to secure it in areas where it won’t fall and be eaten by your pets.

If you love decorating your home with other seasonal flowers, be sure to use those that will not pose as a threat to your fuzzy friends. The last thing you want to do is harm your animals on what is supposed to be a time of celebration.

2. Avoid placing ornaments low to the ground so that little paws can’t reach, causing them to break or shatter.

If you have a pet that loves to play, they might confuse ornaments as toys. Be sure to decorate your home with ornaments that aren’t low to the ground. Areas low to the ground include the lower parts of Christmas trees, the edges of tables, and next to the fireplace if you have one. Better safe than sorry!

Aside from their cost, beautiful little ornaments can shatter into sharp pieces if broken. Avoid cuts and scrapes by hanging these off of the ground. Broken decorations pose as threats not only to your pets, but also to children (and adults without shoes making their way to the kitchen for a late night eggnog.)

3. If you’re worried about your pets tearing apart presents, wait to place them under the tree until Christmas Eve or Christmas day.

Every family has their own traditions, and some observe them at different points throughout the holiday season. Celebrations occur progressively leading up to Christmas and sometimes solely on the day itself. But one thing most of us have in common is that we love to give gifts during the holidays. However, if you are afraid of your pets getting into those gifts, consider waiting until the last moment (Christmas Eve or Christmas Day) to leave gifts under the tree.

The last thing you want is for your pet to tear apart your elegantly wrapped presents. Although having gifts under the tree makes for a pleasant decoration, it might be better to simply wait if you believe your pet will get into them. Not only can this end up being costly, but you also don’t want your pet to spoil the surprise for your family!

4. If you’re hosting a holiday get together, consider boarding your pet for the night, especially if they are sensitive to noise.

If you’re having a holiday party or get together with your family and friends, consider boarding your pet or asking someone to watch them for the night. Small dogs and cats are especially sensitive to noise, so make sure they are comfortable. This also has an effect on making guests feel more relaxed, as not everyone is a pet lover (and some may even have allergies.)

5. If you have a stocking for your pet, be sure to hang it off the ground so they can’t access it and don’t get into it prematurely.

It’s not uncommon for pet owners to have stockings full of gifts for their pets. After all, they are members of the family, so why not let them share in the holiday spirit with some treats or small presents of their own?

Most stockings hang by a stationary hook above your fireplace, so they’re in a delicate place to begin with. If your pet decides to knock them down, it could potentially tear down the hook, destroy the gifts in the stockings, or damage the fireplace mantel itself. It’s not a bad idea to skip the stocking decoration altogether and instead just hand your family’s stockings on Christmas Eve while everyone is asleep (and dreaming of sugar plums!)

Related: How to Sell a House With Pets

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