52°F
weather icon Overcast

Have a pet-safe holiday season this year

It’s that time of year already, where people are getting ready to celebrate their personal holidays. Or maybe you don’t but have friends and family that do.

Being I’m a pet lover, which, if you’ve been reading my column, you already know, I thought I’d go over a few tips to have a pet-safe holiday season. I know many of these things are common sense, both in terms of decor and overall safety, but it never hurts to remind ourselves whether we’re celebrating at home or visiting with others.

My girlfriend had two little pups who were food hounds. She always tried to keep close tabs on them, but one year they pulled the turkey right off the table by tugging on the tablecloth. She now uses place mats.

I love glass ornaments, but they can be a real safety hazard. Instead, consider shatterproof plastic or metal. Don’t like the colors? Simple nontoxic spray paint will do the trick to match your tree’s color scheme.

Whether you’re having guests over or traveling to family, make sure your pet has a collar and updated tag. Again, this is common sense, but I have many friends that are just into bandanas when they are at home.

With people coming and going, the door is opening and closing a lot, and some may not be used to closing the door. Your pets can get anxious if they’re not used to company, and it’s not uncommon for one to run out. It’s so easy for them to get out without being noticed. I have a girlfriend who absolutely loves her dogs, but they don’t go anywhere when the door is open. I would never trust mine.

If you’re adding real plants into your decor, I can’t stress enough how important it is to make sure they are non-toxic. These are just a few you need to avoid as they’re dangerous for your pets: mistletoe, holly berries, ivy, poinsettia, lilies and daffodils. Check the ASPCA’s list of plants to find out how these and others can be harmful to your pets.

During the holidays, candles are a big part of the decor. Instead of burning candles, consider using battery-operated ones. Unattended candles are a hazard anytime during the year with wagging tails. If you use electric candles, it’s good to have a cord guard to prevent your pet from chewing on it.

If your holiday includes hanging stockings, be very careful what you put in them and where they are. Food treats will be very tempting to pets. Hanging stockings on a mantel is a tradition, but make sure you’re in the room when the fireplace is on, especially for older homes with open wood-burning fireplaces.

Do you have curious pets? What about decorating behind glass doors? Add some holiday cheer to your china cabinet, entertainment unit or glass kitchen cabinets. I put out a few of my holiday Barbies in my entertainment unit each year. I’m a bit of a collector, so it takes a couple of years before I see the same ones again.

For any holiday or celebration, wrapping paper, tape and ribbons can end up with a trip to the vet. If you buy your pets gifts, keep their presents out of reach until you’re ready to open them. Also, if you have a pet that loves opening yours, you might want to keep them safe when you’re not at home.

My very first dog, Checkers, was staying over at the house of a friend, who also had a pup. They always left presents under their tree, and Annie never touched them until she had a friend to open them with. Yes, they unwrapped every present. Luckily, neither of them was hurt and didn’t get disciplined as they couldn’t stop laughing; the dogs were covered in paper.

I’m sure either yourself or a friend had a tree topple over when the cat wanted to use it as a scratching or climbing post. The best way to lower your chances of this happening is to secure it to the wall or use a heavy tree base.

Do you have any expensive or sentimental ornaments you don’t want to be damaged? To secure them, wrap floral wire around the hooks and twist onto the branches. If you have a white tree, use white twist ties.

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. But have you ever decorated above your kitchen cabinets? My girlfriend does it every year, and it looks wonderful.

When decorating a home with a pet, think of the precautions you would take if you had a toddler. Your pets are as curious as they are, whether new to the house or ones you’ve had for years. Having pet-friendly holidays requires some easy and simple changes that, in my opinion, are worth taking to keep my little ones safe.

Gail Mayhugh, owner of GMJ Interiors, is a professional interior designer and author of a book on the subject. Questions may be sent by email to GMJinteriors@gmail.com. Or mail to 7380 S. Eastern Ave., No. 124-272, Las Vegas, NV 89123. Her web address is www.GMJinteriors.com.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Entertainment Videos
Making lobster and avocado flatbread at Vanderpump Cocktail Garden in Las Vegas
Josh Grimes, chef de cuisine at Vanderpump Cocktail Garden at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, created a lobster and avocado flatbread that also has avocado-creme fraiche spread, yellow tomatoes, red onion and Hearts On Fire microgreens. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Riding the new 15-minute "Star Wars" ride at Disneyland
What it's like to ride the new 15-minute "Star Wars" ride At Disneyland (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Main St. Provisions is coming to the Arts District - VIDEO
Kim Owens talks about her new Arts District restaurant, Main Street Provisions, which is under construction. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Artist Wayne Littlejohn on “Spin Baby” - VIDEO
Wayne Littlejohn’s sculpture celebrates Las Vegas entertainers. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tiësto headlines CES 2020 closing party at Hakkasan Nightclub - VIDEO
Tiesto performs for CES conventioneers and clubgoers during the DreamlandXR Closing Night Party at Hakkasan Nightclub at the MGM Grand on the Las Vegas Strip in the early hours of Friday, Jan. 10, 2020. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Locals cheer on James Holzhauer at 'Jeopardy!' watch party - VIDEO
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But James Holzhauer would have a better chance at winning “Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time” tournament if Ken Jennings would stop copying his aggressive betting strategy. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Drake's first show of 2020 at XS Nightclub in Las Vegas - VIDEO
Drake performs at the indoor/outdoor XS and Encore Beach Club at Wynn Las Vegas on the Las Vegas Strip in the early morning hours of Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Ceremony held for Elvis artist Trent Carlini - VIDEO
A ceremony was held for Elvis impersonator Trent Carlini on Wednesday night at The Space in Las Vegas. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2020: Small appliances unveiled in Las Vegas - VIDEO
The small appliances on show at Sands Expo at CES 2020 in Las Vegas include a Keurig cocktail maker, autonomous cooking system, nitrogen coffee ampules and more. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2020: Impossible Foods debuts Impossible Pork in Las Vegas - VIDEO
Before a packed press conference at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Impossible Foods executives introduced Impossible Pork, its newest product. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Lady Gaga joins her band leader at his after-hours show - VIDEO
After finishing her “Jazz + Piano” show at Park Theater, Lady Gaga joined her band leader Brian Newman for a rousing version of "Fly Me to the Moon" during his show at NoMad Restaurant at Park MGM on the Las Vegas Strip after midnight on New Year's Day, 2020. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Brian Newman rings in 2020 at NoMad at Park MGM - VIDEO
Brian Newman, bandleader for Lady Gaga, performs at NoMad Restaurant at Park MGM on the Las Vegas Strip on New Year's Eve 2019. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
New Year’s Fireworks on the Las Vegas Strip - VIDEO
Fireworks explode over the Las Vegas Strip to celebrate the new year of 2020. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Kats hits Las Vegas Strip on New Year's Eve - VIDEO
Man-about-town columnist John Katsilometes covers entertainment on the Strip on New Year's Eve Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019. Mayfair Supper Club overlooking Bellagio fountains. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
RJ LIVE from Drai's nightclub on the Las Vegas Strip - VIDEO
Aaron Drawhorn live from Drai's nightclub on the Las Vegas Strip across from the Bellagio fountains on New Year's Eve.
Ayesha Curry and Michael Mina talk about opening International Smoke
Ayesha Curry and Michael Mina, partners in International Smoke, admit things don't always admit things don’t always work the first time. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Unravel the story of House of Eternal Return at Meow Wolf - VIDEO
New Mexico art collective Meow Wolf created the House of Eternal Return in 2016. The group is opening an original immersive experience in Las Vegas next year. (Meow Wolf)
Story behind Spago’s two-pound truffle - VIDEO
Spago chef Mark Andelbradt shares the story of a truffle hunter who found the truffle. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ayesha Curry preps for International Smoke opening
Ayesha Curry talks about preparing for the opening of International Smoke, her collaboration with Michael Mina at MGM Grand in Las Vegas (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Making the French Onion Burger at Topgolf in Las Vegas - VIDEO
Kreg Klaver, executive chef at Topgolf at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, makes the French Onion Burger by topping a 7-ounce beef patty with horseradish-Dijon, caramelized onions, Gruyere and crispy onions, on a pretzel bun. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Mayfair Supper Club preview
The finishing touches are still being put on Bellagio’s new Mayfair Supper club, which is set to open on New Year’s Eve. But the creative team behind the experience gave members of the media a little preview on Thursday in a rehearsal space they’ve been using at Park MGM. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Holiday Honey Toast at Sake Rok in Las Vegas
Bill Lee, executive sous chef at Sake Rok at The Park in Las Vegas, makes Holiday Honey Toast by hollowing out soft white pain de mie bread, coating it in butter, honey and sugar, toasting it and topping with three scoops of mint-chocolate chip ice cream, more honey-butter, gumdrops, candy canes, powdered sugar and cinnamon. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New lunch menu at Momofuku Las Vegas
Chef Michael Rubinstein talks about the new lunch menu at Momofuku. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Cube by Nanotak at Intersect Festival - VIDEO
The cube synced with driving electronic music and glowed with LEDs that twinkled along the cube’s lines. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Elvis Presley tribute artist Trent Carlini dies - VIDEO
Trent Carlini, a renowned Elvis Presley tribute artist who performed at several Las Vegas resorts for almost 30 years, has died. Clark County officials confirmed Carlini died on Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, at a Las Vegas hospital. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Intersect drone light show - VIDEO
The Intersect Music Festival in Las Vegas featured a special drone light show. (Samia DeCubas)
Shirley Chung is “coming home” for Paired dinner
Celebrity chef Shirley Chung is back in Las Vegas to co-host a sold out collaborative dinner Saturday night at Red Plate in The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dandelion Chocolate opening at The Venetian
San Francisco’s Dandelion Chocolate will open its first Las Vegas café and retail store in The Venetian on Saturday. To celebrate, they’ll be offering guests free hot chocolate. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Lbertine Social’s Pastrami Feast
Libertine Social's massive, house-made short-rib pastrami for $175 latter consists of three bones of short rib brined for seven days, smoked for six hours and cooked sous vide for two days before it’s finished in the restaurant’s pizza oven to give it a bark. It’s then carved and presented tableside with an assortment of sides and lettuce for making wraps. What’s “leftover” is then returned to the kitchen and prepared as Reuben sandwiches.
Ellis Island unveils The Front Yard
Ellis Island’s marketing director Christina Ellis talks about the new addition of the Front Yard. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
THE LATEST
Childproof decor can be sophisticated, fun

A family home with young children doesn’t need to look overly kid-ish, they say. It can still look great while meeting the needs of everyone in the household.

Local drop sites take Christmas trees for recycling

Trees recycled at any of 30 drop sites across Southern Nevada are chipped into mulch and used in gardens and parks throughout the valley. Residents can drop off their trees for free at Springs Preserve or any of the drop sites through Jan. 15.

Yes, you can live large in a small space

Living in small spaces certainly doesn’t mean you can’t live large. Choosing appropriate furniture and space planning can make any small space work.

Verticillium wilt cause death of single branch

Verticillium wilt disease plugs the internal tubes that carry water from a tree’s roots to the leaves. It commonly infects a single branch, causing it to die and appear like it is not getting enough water.

Colors of the year for 2020

Pantone chooses Classic Blue as its 2020 color of the year. Paint manufacturers announce their choices.

Broken three-way light switch is quick fix

Three-way switches are common at staircases, hallways or large rooms with multiple doorways. Most of the problems with these switches result from a miswired switch.