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3 Tips For Pet Safe Holiday Decorating

Published on: November 30, 2022  |  Author: Starwood Pet Travel

Brown labrador in front of christmas tree

One of the most fun aspects of the annual end-of-year holidays is decorating. Some of us get an early start on that by going ghoulish over Halloween, but once Thanksgiving arrives, it’s an all-out decorative assault on our homes, inside and out. What must our pets think of this annual decorating frenzy? For many of them, it doesn’t look pretty.

Since we love having our fur babies be part of everything we do, it’s time to take a step back and look at this particular activity from a four-legged perspective. Maybe your beloved pup or kitty would prefer a view from the sidelines. And maybe they’ll be safer there, too. The last thing you want is to have them dangerously underfoot while you’re distracted with decorating. 

These tips will help you and your pets stay safe as you prep your home for the holidays. 




1. Consider their fears

In some ways, holiday decorating chaos is amazingly like the uproar that comes with a major move. Boxes and paper are strewn everywhere. Furniture is displaced (in this case to make room for the holiday tree or the extra-long dining table you’ll need). Unfamiliar people are coming in and out. It’s enough to make a pet crazy. 

Or, more likely, confused and anxious. What’s going on here, anyway? Should they be concerned? There are lots of things you can do to help your pet stay calm and safe while packing for a move, and you can use those same techniques to smooth the way during holiday decorating. 

Consider your pet’s personality. If your furry feline is content to sit on the sidelines and supervise, make sure their favorite perch is available. Or move one into position – perhaps one of your empty boxes. If their style is more investigative, you may want to confine them to a crate or another room so they don’t get into something that could hurt them. (Or cause them to demolish your favorite family heirloom ornaments in one grand leap.) 

Most dogs love action, and they prefer to be right in the thick of things. But you don’t want to trip over your pup as you’re trying to untangle all those lights, and that wagging tail can wreak havoc in many ways. Pull their bed close enough so they don't feel left out, and arm them with a tasty chew or an engrossing puzzle toy, so they can be nearby but safe. 

If your dog is not a fan of disruption, doggie daycare is a wonderful alternative. They can spend the day frolicking with canine friends, creating dog-appropriate chaos to their heart’s content. By the time they get home, they'll be too tired to pay attention to your newly-displayed decorations. Or, if your dog is into spa days, schedule their next pampering session for when you plan to do your messiest decorating.

2. Try not to change their routine

Even if you do have to rearrange your furniture for holiday decorating, do everything you can to leave your pet’s personal space intact. The location of food and water dishes, especially. And the litter box. Also, make sure your pet’s daily routine remains on schedule as much as possible, too. That includes feeding times as well as walk times for your pooch. 

3. Give the gift of extra love

Yes, it’s a super-busy time of year. And you have to get those decorations in place before guests start arriving. But family comes first, and that includes your furry family members. Since it’s not practical to include them directly in your decorating, make time just for them. Take a break for a belly rub. Go on an extra-long walk. Spend more time playing with them, or cuddling on the couch. 

And remember that, for some pets, holiday decorating is just the beginning of a stressful season. Beyond creating a safe, calm decorating atmosphere, there are other things you can do to help your fuzzy companion skip the stress this year. 


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