Pet-Friendly Holiday Decor


~ By Gail Mayhugh

Can you believe that the holidays are already here?  Where did another year go? As you’re starting to bring out your holiday decorations, why not include your pets in the festivities as well as keeping them safe.  So here are some fun holiday decorations for your pets and pet-safe decorating alternatives.


  1. Change their bedding to a holiday theme.  Make a simple knotted fleece pet bed cover.  Buy a couple yards of fun fleece, cut strips and knot.  If you don’t want to store it, throw it in the wash and donate it to a shelter.  Believe me the dogs and cats won’t care if their new soft cozy beds have snowmen on them.
  2. My pups love pillows; you could call them Pillow Princesses; so I switch out the plain pillow cases with holiday themed ones.
  3. If you have a covered litter box make it into a Gingerbread House.  Use a large cardboard box to form the house and then decorate.
  4. Change their everyday food and water bowls to ones with some holiday cheer.
  5. Don’t want to fuss with changing their bowls?  How about a fun mat?  I use plastic placemats.  They’re easy to clean and inexpensive to replace when they need to be changed out.
  6. Along with her pillows, my Matilda loves beach blankets.  She is constantly balling them up until they are just right.  Then when she’s done with hers off to her sister’s bed for a re-making.  A quick and easy switch out.All these things don’t have to have a specific holiday theme or traditional colors if you want to leave them out longer.  Just look for designs with pine cones, winter scenes, or snowflakes.

Pets can find the smells and textures of holiday decorations very interesting which can make for a dangerous time. You can still make your home beautiful for the holidays; just remember to decorate with your furry friends in mind.

  1. Consider moving some of your decorations up and out of the reach of tails and teeth.  I know if you have cats this can be a bit more challenging. Although I do have a friend whose little dog seems to be able to get just about everywhere a cat can.  Have you ever decorated above your kitchen cabinets? My girlfriend does it every year and it looks wonderful.  What about your pot shelves? Or what I like to call, dust bunny collectors.  This also makes it the perfect time to get those things down for a yearly cleaning.
  2. Decorate behind glass doors. Consider adding some holiday cheer to your china cabinet, entertainment unit, or glass kitchen cabinets. I put out a few of my Holiday Barbie’s in my entertainment unit each year. I’m a bit of a collector so it takes a couple years before I see the same ones again.
  3. Holiday plants can be toxic and because they bring new smells into the house you have to be extremely careful.  Instead of real poinsettias, use artificial.  Pot your own this way when you’re ready to put them away, you can stack the pots inside each other and compress the plants for easy storage.  Plus no watering or dead leaves to pick up.

Gail Mayhugh, the owner of GMJ Interior Design has been designing in Las Vegas for over 20 years. She also supports animal rescues and shelters through her non-profit,