“I don’t know what this “Christmas Is?” but I sure like the new climbing apparatus in the living room that twinkles and has toys strewn all over it! What fun!” Cats and dogs can make decorating over the holidays a challenge! Especially when it is their first time and they are young and full of mischief! So how does one survive the Yuletide Season with four legged creatures and have one’s house feeling festive? It can be a challenge, and everyone’s pet isn’t the same, so what works for some, may not work for others. Basically, the things you want to keep in mind are electrical chords, the type of decorations you plan to use, and making sure your tree it tethered so it doesn’t end up crashing to the floor! I remember our first Christmas with my cat Samantha, she kept chewing on the extension chord for the lights, not a good thing. We tried to make sure that we used a tie to keep the chords from being all over the place and covered them with mats or a tree skirt, we spent a lot of time discouraging her with a spray bottle filled with water, which seemed to work the best. If your pet likes to chew the lights on the tree that is a more challenging issue, while the lights are unplugged, try spraying a deterrent on the plastic like Bitter Apple or a diluted solution of Citronella or Lavender, you can try spritzing the whole tree, which might help save your ornaments as well. As for those dangling balls of silver and gold, and other such treasures that glint in the light, they are way too appealing for most four legged creatures to ignore! One suggestion is to make sure there is a void at the base of the tree, placing the decor higher up. Also, try to ensure there aren’t any launching pads near by so that your feline friend can’t channel it’s inner tree squirrel and soar through the air in an attempt to find the purfect roost. The one thing, I can’t stress enough, make sure you have the tree secured. I have had our Christmas tree fall over twice, the first time the only incident was some of my favourite glass ornaments were obliterated. The second time it happened our rather weighty tree went over and landed on my 17 pound Sheltie Pup, thankfully the coffee table took the brunt of the impact, Piper was pinned, but not injured. I will say, she never ever went near the Christmas tree again! The other thing that sometimes gets over looked is food…be mindful of things like putting edible items on your tree or Gingerbread houses that look fabulously festive on the dining room table, but are too good to pass up when no one is looking! Be mindful of gifts, like boxes of chocolates, that unbeknownst to you, may be wrapped up and tempting your pet , your dogs nose is very adept at finding the good stuff! Chocolate is toxic for dogs and many foods we feel are harmless like turkey bones, are not a treat for your pets! As you Deck the Halls with boughs of Holly, don’t use the real stuff, as it too toxic, as well as other plants we use at this festive time of year to gift or decorate with such as Poinsettias, Mistletoe, Amaryllis, Cyclamen, Jerusalem Cherry and Daffodils! Holidays, there is so much to celebrate and enjoy, just try and remember to our canine and feline friends, having to pass some tinsel is not a present that any one will enjoy! Do your utmost to avoid an emergency trip to the Vet and as you trim the tree and hang the stockings, take in the fruits of your labour with a fresh set of eyes, endeavour to view things as though you were on all fours and spot potential hazards, that way everyone’s holiday will be Merry and Bright!