With Christmas around the corner, there’s no time like the present to get started on Christmas decorations.
If you have a dog in your household, it’s important to make sure they’re happy and relaxed through the festive period too. Read our top tips for dog-friendly decorations below.
- Consider using electric candles instead of real ones
As tempting as it might be to use atmospheric candles around your home, a small flame could be potentially dangerous for your dog. By choosing an artificial one instead, you’ll protect your dog, your family, and your house.
For example, if you have a long-haired dog, it might accidentally catch its tail or another part of its fur on a candle left out on a mantelpiece. Or, if you’re using pillar candles, these could even be knocked over and could start a house fire.
- Create a safe space for your dog
You should always try to create a safe and quiet zone for your dog away from the action.
Give them comfortable blankets, cosy large dog beds and their favourite toys too. Try to keep their bed away from the tree so that they won’t be overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of Christmas Day – but keep them close enough so they’re still involved when they’d like to be.
- Christmas trees: Real or fake?
It’s an age-old question on which is better. But, in the end, it’s up to you whether you choose a real Christmas tree or an artificial one.
Artificial trees could be a safer option for homes with curious dogs. Since they never shed their needles, your pup won’t mistake any for a treat. However, some artificial trees are treated with nasty preservative chemicals, so it’s always worth checking.
Real trees are heavier, so they could be a sensible choice for homes with clumsy pooches. They’re much easier to store outside on balconies, patios, or in conservatories, so you don’t need to keep the tree inside if you don’t want to.
- Do your research beforehand
Many families add extra plants and flowers to the home during the festive periods, but it’s important to think about what could pose a danger to your dog. This list of poisonous plants from the UK charity Dogs Trust could help you to plan your floral decorations with your pooch in mind.
- Use plastic baubles
Traditional glass baubles can be heavy and break easily, so we’d recommend choosing plastic ones to reduce the risk of an accident. Try to place baubles high up on the tree, finding the sturdier branches to dangle them from. That way, your dog won’t be tempted to knock them off the tree.
- Hide the treats
Christmas inevitably comes with lots of tasty treats and delicacies for the humans in the household – but not all of these will be safe for your dog. It’s important to research what may be harmful specifically to your dog to ensure you don’t have a surprise trip to the emergency room. Make sure you hide any chocolates, candy canes, and cheese to ensure that your dog only gets the safest food.
If you’re not sure which parts of your roast dinner you can give to your dog as a titbit, it’s always worth reading about the dangers of human food to dogs before you dish out the treats.
Lastly, make sure you take the time to relax and enjoy spending time together: Nothing beats a festive family walk followed by cosy treats around the fire. Your four-legged friend will appreciate the break away from the hustle and bustle of Christmas day. Merry Christmas!