Dogs and Christmas Decorations: How to protect your festive decorations from your adorable dog

Many of us are currently decorating our homes in the runup to Christmas, but dog owners need to make sure their pups aren't put at risk from the festive additions.
Sometimes dogs and Christmas decorations do not mix...Sometimes dogs and Christmas decorations do not mix...
Sometimes dogs and Christmas decorations do not mix...

From vibrant Christmas trees covered in brightly-coloured baubles to Santa’s stockings and the presents within, many dogs can’t resist attacking the festive decorations. 

Tradition states that Christmas decorations should go up on the first day of Advent, which fell on Sunday, December 3, this year. There shouldn’t be any reason as to why you can’t turn your home into a winter wonderland come this date, especially not because of pets. 

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Luckily for pet parents everywhere, you won’t have to, as the expert team at tails.com have put together a list of ways to protect your decorations from dog-related damages and help your baubles survive until Boxing Day at least.

 

Christmas Tree

Your tree can be harmful to your dog if they get too close to it. The pine needles present potential choking hazards, as they are nearly impossible to digest and can get clogged in your dog's throat or intestines, and the needles can get trapped in a dog’s paws. 

Some ‘real’ Christmas trees are also sprayed with preservative chemicals, which could make your dog sick if they consume them from licking or chewing on the tree branches.

To prevent any damage to your tree or upset tummies, you need to make sure that your dog is never alone in the same room with your Christmas tree, at least not for a prolonged period. Pups are far more likely to get up to mischief without their owners around to tell them off.

Fairy Lights

Fairy lights on a Christmas tree are an absolute staple, and fun for the whole family. Your dog is no exception, as they will more than likely be entertained by the display of twinkling colours and lights, and may even attempt to play with them. 

However, if your dog attempts to chew at them, they run the risk of getting an electric shock. Not to mention, the potential risks of getting their noses burnt on the hot lights and the chance that they may harm themselves if they get tangled up between the wires.

To conceal your cords, try hiding them under a rug, with the wiring taped to the floor to keep them firmly in place.

Baubles

What dog doesn’t love spending a good few hours chasing a tennis ball, and what is a bauble to a dog, if not a big, sparkly tennis ball?

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To avoid bite marks on your bauble tightly fasten them to a deep branch on your tree and try to avoid the bottom branches to protect your baubles from curious paws and out-of-control tails. 

Also, try to avoid hanging heavier ornaments, or ones made of glass, if they fall off your tree, then the collision could injure your dog, or any shattered pieces could cut your dog's paws. 

Tinsel

Tinsel must be a tempting-looking toy for dogs to play with, due to the fact that they can hold it in their mouths like a stick. 

However, aside from your pup tearing your tinsel to pieces if they were to get their paws on it, tinsel is actually one of the most dangerous decorations to have around dogs, as each small plastic or foil strand represents a potentially major choking hazard for your dog.

To protect your tinsel and your terrier from each other keep any tinsel firmly out of your dogs’ reach, whether that's on your tree or elsewhere, as this should prevent your dog from chewing or playing with it.

Garlands

Like tinsel, garlands could be a tempting plaything for your pup, especially if you opt for natural garlands over paper or plastic alternatives. Some garlands will come with electric lights weaved through them, which presents an extra hazard for your dog, as they could get electrocuted if they attempt to chew through these wires.

Try hanging your garlands from as high a place as possible. As well as high shelves and mantlepieces, you may also want to try hanging your garlands in a pattern across your ceiling

Edible Decorations

We all know how greedy our pups can be, and while tasty treats like candy canes and chocolate Santas may have your dog drooling in delight, they will also make them very sick if they do get hold of them.

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If your dog is particularly fond of food, then the best idea might be to not put anything edible on your tree at all. Although, if you really want to treat any children in the family to some treats off the tree, place them out of reach from your dog”  

Presents

While a huge pile of presents underneath the tree is one of the most special sights at Christmas, our excitable pups may be tricked into thinking that the presents are all for them, especially if some of the gifts contain food.

To avoid any problems on Christmas morning, try storing your presents in other places than under the tree until Christmas Eve at the very earliest. This will reduce the likelihood of your pup ruining your presents before the big day arrives.

Stockings

We all want everything to look perfect on Christmas morning, so the last thing you want is one of Santa’s stockings to be covered in doggy drool, bite marks and fur.

If you can, keep your dog out of whichever room you keep your stockings in on Christmas Eve night. You might even consider fitting a lock to the door if your pup likes to explore the house at night.

Mistletoe

Sharing a kiss under the mistletoe is a cute and traditional Yuletide activity for couples to enjoy, but for our naturally curious pups, mistletoe may look like a piece of food or a plaything that is simply impossible to resist - especially if it falls to where they could reach it.

While the mistletoe leaves are mostly harmless to dogs, there are certain parts of the plant, such as the berries, that contain harmful toxins which will result in sickness and diarrhoea if ingested. 

Consider only keeping your mistletoe up as a temporary feature, perhaps for a Christmas party or just on Christmas day itself - this might make that quick kiss under the mistletoe feel all the more special too.

Wreaths

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Christmas wreaths are a festive favourite, with many people choosing to celebrate the holiday with one hanging proudly on their front door. 

While wreaths do commonly contain things like ribbons, fairy lights and even candles, they are mostly made of all-natural components such as leaves, twigs, flowers, fruits and those famous Christmas staples, holly and ivy. Since wreaths will smell so much like the outside, this decoration may very well pique your dog's interest. 

Since most people keep their Christmas wreaths on the front door of their homes, and usually on the outside, following this trend should be enough to prevent your dog from getting too close to your wreath. 

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