Putting up the Christmas tree is without a doubt one of the festive highlights and a sure sign that the big day is soon to be upon us
However, it can seem a less enticing prospect when we consider how our four-legged friends will get on with the tree - they can actually end up posing a real hazard to our pets.
Cats will be drawn to the flashing lights and tinsel, while it's not unusual for excited dogs to knock into them.
So, what can you do to get around this? Well, the experts at GardenBuildingsDirect.co.uk have come up with a list of tips for you...
1. Invest in a good quality stand
Having a good quality, heavy stand will help to secure your tree to the ground in a way that a flimsy, plastic one never will.
If you're looking to go that bit further, simply loop some fishing line around the top of the tree – before tying it to a small screw in the ceiling. This will help you to prevent it from tipping over, should your pet bump into it.
2. Fake is the way to go
Having a real Christmas tree could result in some sharp needles falling off which can subsequently get stuck in your pet's paws. Get around this by opting for an artificial tree.
3. Bare the tree
Before you decorate your tree, assemble it and then leave it for a few days. This means your pet will get used to having it in the room, and will subsequently be more likely to leave it when it's covered in lights and baubles.
And, should the worst happen, and it does get knocked over, you can simply pick it back up with little to no trouble, ensuring you don't need to spend hours picking your decorations up and subsequently putting them back on.
4. Alarm bells
Putting some tin foil or a can that is filled with a few marbles on the tree's bottom branches will mean you will hear if your cat or dog starts to nose around, giving you time to intervene.
5. Be ornament savvy
Your pets can be damaging to your Christmas decorations, but it works both ways - broken ornaments can be just as harmful to cats and dogs. Protecting your pet from the potential danger is simple enough – put the fragile ornaments higher up the tree, or switch to plastic decorations altogether.
It all boils down to how mischievous your cat or dog is - if they're particularly naughty, you could even leave the bottom third of the tree bare.
6. Watch out for wires
The bright, shiny lights are hard to resist but can still be dangerous. Your pet can end up tangled in the wires, but if they're keen to chew through, there's also the risk of an electric shock. Put the lights on your tree, leaving the branches bare and then make sure you secure the cords that lead to and from the tree. These can be hidden with a tree skirt or with cord clips that will keep them off the floor and then out of reach.
7. No edibles!
Watch out for any edible decorations - they're just asking to be eaten by your pets. However, they're likely to be incredibly dangerous, so leave them off your tree altogether for peace of mind.
8. Save the presents
Keep your Christmas gifts safe from your dog by ensuring you don't leave them under the tree. Popping them in a safe place and bringing them down either late on Christmas Eve or on the big day itself, will mean you don't need to present your loved ones with gifts that are either clawed on or drooled over.