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Pet Sitter’s Top Pet-Friendly Holiday Decorating Tips

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The holidays are upon us and it’s only a matter of time before many of the houses we see are decked out in festive decor. As professional pet sitters, we love a beautifully decorated home but we worry about the effects of decor on the pets in our care. For this reason, we’ve compiled the following list of our top pet-friendly holiday decorating tips.

Avoid Ribbon & Tinsel

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Ribbon and tinsel tend to catch our pets’ eyes, which makes them a common danger around the holidays. Strands of ribbon and tinsel are choking hazards, strangulation risks, and can cause intestinal obstructions. For this reason, we recommend you keep all ribbons and tinsel where your pets cannot reach them.

When wrapping presents, consider thicker cat-safe ribbons that cannot be ingested. Or, keep presents away in a designated closet until it’s time to give them. When opening presents, discard the ribbon quickly and keep track of any loose ties, tinsel, cards with small components, etc. It’s better to be vigilant and safe than sorry. Nobody wants to be rushing to an emergency vet on New Year’s Eve.

Pass on the Tree Flocking

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Flocked Christmas trees are beautiful but they can be highly toxic for everyone in the home, especially curious pets. Not only can your pet end up ingesting the poisonous chemicals that comprise the flocking, but they can also end up spreading the stuff all over the house, making a mess, and exposing all members of the family to potential carcinogens. Instead of flocked Christmas trees, consider keeping things simple and minimalistic by opting for pet-safe decor starting with pet-safe Christmas trees.

Choose Your Florals Carefully

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The Internet is full of warnings about plants that are toxic to pets and should be kept away from pet-friendly homes. Unfortunately, many beautiful and festive holiday shrubs and plants are highly toxic to cats and dogs if ingested. To be safe, we encourage you to consider faux plants this time of year. Places like Home Goods, Ikea, and others make beautiful replicas of poinsettias, holly, and more.

Prioritize Your Pet’s Safety

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Our pets are constantly evolving; things that may not have intrigued them last year may do so this holiday season. When decorating your home for the holidays, make sure you put your decorations out slowly and in places where you can supervise your pet in their presence. The first few days of decorating are inevitably the most intriguing for your cats and dogs, therefore those are the days when you have to watch them carefully.

If your pet takes a keen interest in something that could be potentially harmful to them, do not hesitate to put the item away. You can always relocate the item but it’s crucial to keep your pet from accessing the item until they can be in the same room with it without putting themselves at risk.

Check Out This List

To learn more about ways you can keep your pet safe this holiday season, check out the AKC’s list of 7 Pet-Friendly Holiday Decorating Tips.

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At Hearts at Home, we always have our eyes peeled for your pet’s safety. If we find something in your home that threatens your pet’s well-being this holiday season, we will let you know immediately. If you have any questions on how to prepare your home for your upcoming holiday travel, click here or contact us at 757-745-9868 or at to learn more.

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