Deck the Paws: 5 tips for pet friendly Christmas decorations

Two cute, small, fluffy pomeranian dogs wearing winter dog bow ties and grey cable knit jumpers.

Christmas is a wonderful time of year for most of us, and pets can really add to the festive joy. There are so many wonderful ways to get your precious pooch involved in the celebrations… after all, dogs love a little holiday treat as much as the rest of us!

However, there is one thing in particular that we’ve found a bit more difficult at Christmas time since having dogs at home! Christmas decorations… they’re normally bright, shiny and come in a range of different colours! No wonder our pooches thing all the Christmas decorations are their new toys to play with.

Given chewing or ingesting plastic nasties can be harmful to pets – and certainly won’t improve your festive displays – we’ve put together some great tips to ensure you can deck the halls this Christmas and decorate away, whilst keeping the space safe for all pets.

  1. Keep the tree safe: anyone who has had a puppy around a Christmas tree for the first time will know how quickly they want to explore it! It’s a great idea to do some training to prepare your dog for the tree’s arrival, and WAG has some great tips for this.

    Of course, training can take time, and depending on your pooch’s perseverance it may be more practical and sensible to make the tree a safe space. Do this by choosing a stable tree stand and secure the tree to prevent curious pets from tipping it over. Choose robust tree decorations that will not smash if they are knocked over and ensure any towards the bottom of the tree and pet-friendly. If you have a real tree then avoid adding any chemicals to the tree that may be harmful to pets – a little water topped up when necessary should be all a good quality tree needs to last the festive period.

  2. Avoid tinsel and plastic garlands: At Bew Dogs HQ we used to love tinsel, it’s very nostalgic! However, as well as being pretty bad for the environment, it’s also toxic and a choking hazard for adventurous pups! We’ve easily found more eco-friendly and safe alternatives, just look for decorations made of paper, card, fabric or ribbon… these can even be homemade, and needn’t break the bank.

    If you already have tinsel and can’t bear to part with it, no problem… just be sure to keep it high and out of reach of wandering paws, and be sure to keep reusing it to keep it out of landfill.

  3. Choose your Christmas plants with care: Surprisingly, a number of popular and traditional Christmas plants are toxic for dogs. However, with some easy swaps its still possible to decorate your space with festive florals.

    TOXIC to dogs: Poinsettia, Holly, Mistletoe, Christmas Rose, Yew.

    SAFE for dogs: Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera), African Violet (Saintpaulia), Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum), Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens).

  4. Pick out pet-friendly lighting: some lovely festive lighting can make all the difference at Christmas time, and is a great alternative to a tree or other decorations. Just remember to keep choose LED lighting where possible, which is much safer for pets as it doesn’t heat up and therefore isn’t a fire or burn risk. Also be sure to keep wires safely out of reach.

  5. Choose these options instead of breakable ornaments: There are many pet-friendly ornaments that can be bought or made and are less hazardous than their breakable alternatives. Look our for any decorations and Christmas ornaments that are made of wood, felt, solid plastic, fabric, metal or even natural products like sea shells. Just avoid glass, china and other fragile materials.
A christmas burrow toy for dogs, featuring a toy cookie inside a carton of milk for santa paws, is held in front of a decorated christmas tree.
A black and tan dachshund dog wearing a santa suit, with some tinsel is also wearing a Bew Dogs red Christmas collar and bow. There is some red tinsel in front of her.

Are these tips helpful? Have you got any tips of your own for keeping the festive decorations in tact with curious doggos around? Do let us know in the comments below!

Have you see our Christmas products yet? We’ve got a fabulous festive range, available to order now.

One thought on “Deck the Paws: 5 tips for pet friendly Christmas decorations

  1. We took our dog to John Lewis to explore the Christmas trees before Xmas to set up for success. We explained these are Christmas trees and ornaments and no eating and chewing.. get her used to seeing all the decorations for a few times before we set up the tree at home.

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