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Holiday Pet Safety: Pet Friendly Holiday Decorations

The holiday season is an enchanting period of time, which includes pets as well. For them, there is no greater pleasure than swatting a ball of tinsel or gnawing on a misplaced wooden dreidel. However, the decorations that bring such joy during the Christmas season can also pose a potential danger if proper precautions are not taken.

In order to ensure a splendid and secure holiday season, it is imperative to be aware of which decorations to steer clear of and what alternatives to choose from, how to effectively fasten your holiday adornments, and, in the unfortunate event of an emergency, when to reach out to your nearby emergency veterinarian.

Christmas with pets
Christmas with pets

Pet safety tips for Christmas

Exclude the branches of holly.

The natural beauty of live mistletoe and holly is exquisite. Nevertheless, considering Christmas safety for pets, if dogs consume these plants, they can be quite toxic. Poinsettias, although non-toxic, can cause gastrointestinal distress in dogs. They are a common feature in many households throughout the holiday season, but do not worry if you still wish to adorn your home with them.

On the other hand, using silk faux plants is a more secure option for adding these specific plant species to your holiday decorations. Moreover, the most advantageous aspect is that they can be utilized repeatedly over the course of multiple years, resulting in significant cost savings.

Ensure the presence of light in a secure manner.

Candles placed throughout your home create a cozy and celebratory ambiance. Nevertheless, in areas without protection or inside the accessible range of your dog, a wagging tail has the potential to topple them. Ensure to bear in mind fire-safety precautions to safeguard your dog throughout the year, particularly around the holidays when you are incorporating additional illumination.

To prevent any inadvertent spillage of hot wax or potential fire hazards, it is advisable to ensure that your dog and cat do not come into contact with it. To circumvent these problems, you have the option to transition to Christmas decorations for cats and dogs that include flameless battery-operated candles instead. To utilize actual candles for Hanukkah, choose to position your menorah at an elevated location on a robust piece of furniture.

Secure the Christmas tree to prevent damage or interference by pets.

It is imperative to ensure that our pets are safe around the Christmas tree, as they can become just as thrilled about it as we are. A substantial, weighted stand is a commendable initial step in ensuring that a Christmas tree is safe from a curious puppy. The additional weight serves as a safeguard against the tree being uprooted by relentless force or persistent climbers. 

Consider securing the tree to the wall to safeguard against any toppling. To prevent the cat or dog from being excessively curious about the tree, one effective method is to apply a perfume that they find unpleasant as a safe Christmas decoration for cats. A citrus fragrance is effective in deterring pets while remaining pleasant for your guests. Additionally, adorn the tree with Christmas decorations that are safe and suitable for cats. Rest assured, shatterproof balls are also suitable for pets.

Eradicate Christmas lights that have been damaged by dogs.

The illumination emanating from the tree is aesthetically pleasing; nevertheless, Christmas lights present a substantial hazard. Conceal the light cords among the innermost parts of the tree branches to make it more challenging for the dog to access them. It is advisable to install lights in areas that are inaccessible to the dog.

Ensure that suitable chew toys are consistently accessible, and actively discourage any inclination to chew on the electrical cord. Ultimately, utilizing a citrus spray and installing a baby gate around the tree could be the most effective method to safeguard the Christmas tree from a young dog until it matures.

Handle decorations with caution.

What about other suspended ornaments, such as stockings? Sturdy metal stocking holders are aesthetically pleasing and frequently used to suspend stockings, particularly on the fireplace. Nevertheless, in the event that dogs pull on a stocking, erroneously perceiving it as a plaything, both the stocking and the holder may collapse abruptly, making your efforts go against pet-friendly Christmas decorations.


Should these weighty metal holders descend upon your canine, it may cause them harm. Optimal alternatives would involve either elevating stockings to a higher position beyond the reach of your dog or utilizing a plastic hook to suspend stockings. There are numerous alternatives for hooks of this nature that possess aesthetic appeal or remain inconspicuous, yet effectively eliminate the risk associated with a metallic stocking holder.

Attend to the gifts in the present moment.

Presents appear aesthetically pleasing when placed beneath the Christmas tree. Simply inquire about your canine or feline companion. Certain individuals may find pleasure in reclining within a vacant container, while others may prefer engaging in a vigorous tearing activity. Regardless of the situation, although a vividly adorned present enhances the joyful atmosphere, it is important to properly discard the wrapping materials once they have been removed. It is advisable to keep ribbons, paper, plastic bags, and other gift remnants out of reach of inquisitive tongues and paws.

pet safe christmas
pet safe christmas

Further safety factors to take into account

Certain precautions for pet safety during the holidays coincide with general safety considerations. It is imperative to never leave a burning candle unsupervised, especially when there are pets present. The dynamic and fluctuating flame may entice unsuspecting paws, endangering the possibility of a fire. When wrapping gifts, be sure to remove any possible choking risks from your Christmas pet decorations. Your veterinarian advises against the use of any of the following:

  • Shiny or paper adorned with glitter

  • Ribbons, string, and yarn.

  • Ornamental metallic decorations

It is possible to combine holidays and dogs in a manner that is both safe and enjoyable.

However, maintaining a moderate volume and minimizing excitation levels is much more favourable for promoting contentment and relaxation in pets. Consider allocating a designated area exclusively for your pet that is free from noise and disturbance. Ensure that the stock includes provisions such as food, drink, a litter box, a preferred chew toy, and bedding. Make sure that when your pet seeks refuge in this secure and tranquil area, they are not bothered or interrupted.

The affection we receive from our dogs enhances our lives and brings greater delight to the holiday season. By adhering to our guidelines for Christmas pet safety, you can guarantee the well-being of every individual in your family throughout the celebrations. Similar to how you prepare your home for autumn and winter to prevent potential issues, you may strategize your holiday festivities to ensure the safety of all participants.

Develop a comprehensive safety strategy.

Amidst the festive atmosphere, it might be challenging to pay attention to your pet's actions. However, it is important to closely monitor them and be vigilant for any indications of digestive disturbances, diminished appetite, or lethargy, as these are all indications that they may have consumed anything harmful to their well-being. If you observe any unusual behaviour in your pet, it is advisable to consult your veterinarian, as you possess the most comprehensive knowledge about your pet.

If you have any suspicions that your pet has ingested something inappropriate, it is advisable to err on the side of caution and promptly seek veterinary assistance, even if your pet appears to be in good health.

Lastly, bear in mind that making veterinary arrangements can be arduous during the holiday season. Ensure that you verify the availability of your veterinarian during holidays and save the contact information of the nearest emergency veterinarian and pet poison hotline in your phone.



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