Holiday Decorations that Could Harm Your Pet

‘Tis the season for twinkling lights, tinsel, and ornaments!

Chances are you’ll have your tree up and the halls decked the day after Thanksgiving but, as you’re festooning, keep your pets in mind and make sure that your decor is safe for fur friends.

When Edible Isn’t Really Edible

DIY ornaments are all the rage this holiday season and they often come with an edible element. From birdseed and popcorn to ingredients for hot chocolate, many ornaments made with organic materials may seem safe for your dog or cat but are often mixed with glue, glitter, or plastic elements. If you do make or receive these items for Christmas be sure to put them at the top of the tree or leave them off of the tree altogether.


Glass ornaments are beautiful and fragile. If you have pets in your home, consider displaying these on a shelf on bookcase instead of on a tree where your pet could knock them off and step on the shards.

Watch Those Pine Needles

Live Christmas trees are a delight for the senses with their beautiful boughs and their pine fragrance. If you’re planning on having a live Christmas tree this year, remember to keep the pine needles swept up regularly so that your pets don’t eat or step on them. Also, keep in mind that many home fires occur during the holidays because of live Christmas trees and decoration fires. Keep an eye on outlets and always check for frayed wires. Never leave your lights plugged in while you are away from home.

Kiss the Mistletoe Good-Bye

Or at least make sure your pets can’t get a hold of it. Mistletoe and holly can be toxic to pets, so if you’re using these plants make sure they’re safely secured and out of your pet’s reach.

Tinsel and Garland

Believe it or not, many pets (particularly dogs) ingest tinsel or garland every year and suffer intestinal blockages. This can result in an expensive trip to the vet and can even result in death. So if you know your pooch has a penchant for eating foreign objects, skip the tinsel.

Careful with the Candles

Candles add a cozy glow to your holiday festivities but make sure that you keep them in an area that cannot be reached by you pets, particularly cats who like to climb. House fires happen every year due to candles toppling off shelves or being knocked over by animals.

Meet the Author: Hope Gately

Hope Gately is a haphazard outdoors enthusiast. She summits Colorado 14ners, hikes the backcountry, canyoneers, and climbs with the best of 'em. The best part about her travels is that her loyal Blue Pit Bull, Indy, is by her side at every step!

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