You Brought the Outside Inside!! - How to Help Your Holiday Decorations Survive a Primitive Dog Household

It’s that time of year when the days get shorter and we decorate our homes with lots of seasonal colors and decorations. You primitive dog finds it fascinating that you are bring the outside inside be adding trees, branches, plants, and berries to the house. Rearranging furniture can also create excitement and presents wrapped up and waiting to be opened may be too much for an inquisitive primitive dog. But your holiday doesn’t have to be ruined by a bored and curious primitive dog. Instead follow these easy steps to keep your furry friends comfy and your decorations safe.

 A well protected Christman Tree Photo by Ivana Jurić of Couch Wolves FB Community

A well protected Christman Tree Photo by Ivana Jurić of Couch Wolves FB Community

Trees and Garlands
Bringing branches and trees is hard for a primitive dog to ignore. YOU BROUGHT THE OUTSIDE INSIDE! So be prepared to introduce your dog slowly and try not to get upset if they try to eat or pee on your foliage. For dogs who are destructive, trying to climb the tree or chew lights, consider keeping your greenery in another part of the house, gated off, or behind a barrier. Ornaments should be kept out of reach. This can be done by hanging them higher or by placing a smaller tree on a table or shelf. 

Plants
Be aware of what plants are safe and which are poisonous. Even if your dog doesn’t chew plants, it takes one boring day to change that behavior. 
Don’t worry too much about poinsettias. As per PetMD “A lot of people have been led to believe that the poinsettia plant is deadly for pets and children, but this is actually an unlikely occurrence. The poinsettia plant’s brightly colored leaves contain a sap that is irritating to the tissues of the mouth and esophagus. If the leaves are ingested, they will often cause nausea and vomiting, but it would take a large amount of the plant’s material to cause poisoning, and most animals and children will not eat such a large enough amount because of the irritating taste and feel from the sap.” (PetMD)

Even though Poinsettia are not a big deal, be very careful with mistletoe, holly, lillies, and amaryllis as all are highly toxic. Christmas cactus are really your safest bet as they completely non toxic. Finally treat all plants with some caution even if they are inherently non toxic as the pesticides sprayed on them may not be. 

 Mantelpieces are a great place to keep decorations out of reach.

Mantelpieces are a great place to keep decorations out of reach.

Candles and Fireplaces
Just about every holiday tradition includes candles. Even though most primitive dogs are careful enough to avoid open flame any antics may cause an unintended knock against a candle. Keep any open flame a out of reach at all times including jumping height. Because who hasn’t has a primitive dog jump onto the table before… Consider placing hurricane glass around candles in houses with extra curious and rambunctious pets. 

Yule logs are lovely, but make sure your fireplace is cleaned and maintained before use. All sorts of critters may be in there and will try to escape your first celebratory fire of the year. You don’t need the excitement of a squirrel tearing around your house with your dog in hot pursuit. When a fire is lit, keep the fire screen front of the fire whenever your dog is in the room. You don’t need inquisitive noses getting burned or embers popping out and catching in your dog’s coat.

Pro tip: mantelpieces are wonderful places to keep decorations out of reach.

 Sometimes simplicty = elegance in a primitive dog household. Photo by Heidi Ann of Couch Wolves FB Community

Sometimes simplicty = elegance in a primitive dog household. Photo by Heidi Ann of Couch Wolves FB Community

Presents
It’s impossible for most primitive dogs to resist a a wrapped package. It’s a blast to tear things apart. If you are going to keep gifts out, keep them behind a barrier. If they contain dog goodies, consider keeping them in a closet until celebration day. If your friends are bringing you gifts, make sure to put food gifts away promptly as to not encourage accidental consumption. 
If you do allow your dog to “open” their presents, remember not to get on their case the other 364 days a year if they tear into a package. They don’t know the difference between a holiday and any other day. Nor do they know the difference between your presents and theirs.

 Sometimes you lose a few decorations regardless of precautions. Photo by Monique Carrell of Couch Wolves FB Community

Sometimes you lose a few decorations regardless of precautions. Photo by Monique Carrell of Couch Wolves FB Community

General Decorations
Whether you have a creche in your home, dreidels, santas, or any other table decorations, it is hard for your dog to distinguish them from toys and objects to consume. If you leave out things like chocolate coins, you are asking for your dog to steal them and consume them. So consider what your dog has access to and whether you want them interacting with certain decorations. As mentioned numerous times before, anything unsafe needs to me out of reach.

If you move furniture around, expect your dog to be confused, excited or in general, out of sorts for a few days. Changes in routine and environment are stressful even if all the humans are having fun.

How do you celebrate the holidays with your primitive pal?