Keeping the family happy, pets healthy and home Christmassy

THE CAT THAT STOLE CHRISTMAS... Don't let grinchy pets tear down your decorations. Keep your pets and decorations safe this year by trying alternative methods to deter pets from ornaments. Photo: Supplied.

Guide to pet-friendly holiday décor

CHRISTMAS would not be the same without our pets, those lovable furry creatures that make up our family, but it is less desirable when Tom tears down the Christmas tree or Baxter gets into Christmas lunch, or worse, Christmas drinks… Here are some tips for keeping your tree up, pets out of trouble and everyone happy while your home is decorated.

Traditional festive plants, like mistletoe or poinsettias, can be harmful to animals. Alternatively, choose non-toxic native plants, like bottlebrushes to dress up your home. Fir tree oil is another plant product to be wary of if you have pets. Make sure they cannot drink your tree’s water, or you may be going to the vet on Christmas eve.

Gift wrapping, cellophane, Santa pillows and hats should not be part of your pet’s diet – even if it is the silly season. Establishing a pet fence around your tree could keep pets from harm’s way or better yet, find alternative ways to wrap without using paper. Tea towels or secondhand scarves make a fantastic and fresh alternative to paper.

Pet repellent spray should discourage animals from getting too comfortable with the tree, presents or decorations. Follow product descriptions and spritz where needed. Trimming branches from the bottom of the tree could discourage cats and dogs from pawing low hanging ornaments or branches.

Keep breakables, favourite ornaments, and of course foods and alcohol away from pets. If you cannot keep pets, particularly curious cats from climbing your tree, try a different approach. Cats do not like aluminum foil or citrus fruits, so try wrapping your tree’s base with foil or hiding orange or lemon slices amongst tree branches.

Best of luck!