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Ten festive decorations pet owners should keep an eye on

Editorial Feature

From vibrant Christmas trees covered in brightly-coloured baubles and twinkling tinsel to Santa’s stockings and the presents within, your fur babies will probably view your festive decorations as perfectly irresistible play-things.

Luckily for pet parents everywhere, Checklist has collaborated with to put together a list of ways to protect your decorations from dog-related damages, and help your baubles survive until Boxing Day at least.

1. Christmas tree

Photo by Any Lane from Pexels

Your dog will almost certainly be tempted to chew on the trunk, branches and needles of the tree, and they may even attempt to mark it with their scent; a very unwanted Christmas present.

Make sure that your dog is never alone in the same room with your Christmas tree, at least not for a prolonged period of time. Pups are far more likely to get up to mischief without their owners around to tell them off.

Consider installing a baby gate around your Christmas tree to stop your dog from getting too close to it.

2. Fairy lights

Photo by 一 徐 from Pexels

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. 

One way to conceal your cords would be to hide them under a rug, with the wiring taped to the floor to keep firmly in place. Another method of limiting exposed wiring would be to tape them along the skirting board.

3. Baubles

Photo by ROMAN ODINTSOV from Pexels

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?

To avoid bite-marks on your baubles, tightly fasten your baubles to a deep branch on your tree and try to avoid the bottom branches to protect your baubles from curious paws and excited tails.

4. Tinsel

Photo by Tara Winstead from Pexels

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. 

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.

5. Garlands

Photo by Wes Hicks on Unsplash

Like tinsel, garlands could be a tempting plaything for your pup, especially if you opt for the natural garlands over the paper or plastic alternative.

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

6. Edible decorations

Photo by Julia Filirovska from Pexels

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.

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 something off the tree, place them out of reach from your dog.  

7. Presents

Photo by Laura James from Pexels

While a huge pile of gifts 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 them contain food.

Pup-owners should avoid storing presents 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.

8. Stockings

Photo by Donna Spearman on Unsplash

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.

A locked door may also help to keep out any over-eager children, keen on finally catching Santa in the act this year.

9. Mistletoe

Photo by Paul Zoetemeijer on Unsplash

Sharing a kiss under the mistletoe is a cute and traditional 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.

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.

10. Wreaths

Photo by Erwan Hesry on Unsplash

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. 

This article was made in collaboration with

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Laura Forsyth

After graduating with a Journalism and English Literature degree, Laura has gone on to work for national television and as a reporter for the UK’s biggest news outlets. With years of experience in the media industry, Laura is now the managing editor for Hurst Media Company, and the food, travel and health editor for

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