Holiday Decorations to Avoid if You Have Pets


It’s the time of year when we’re pulling out holiday decor and preparing our homes for the festivities. But some of our decorations can be hazardous to our pets.  Take a look at the items below and take precautions when placing them in your home, even for a short period of time.

  • Tinsel – This is a highly dangerous decoration for pets, perhaps even the most dangerous. If a pet ingests tinsel they could develop an intestinal obstruction requiring severe illness, surgery and even deadly effects.  Keep away from tinsel altogether.Christmas or New Year's card with burning candles and pine cones. Vintage wood background, selective focus

Lit Candles – Playful pups excitedly wagging their tails and kitties walking across tables may knock over your lit candles.  Put them in hard-to-reach places and out of your pets’ reach to avoid a fire.  (And always blow out the candles before leaving the room and/or house.)

Water Additives – Some of us use additives to prolong the life of our Christmas trees; however, these additives can seriously harm your fur babies. Avoid using them altogether, or cover the tree strand with a tree skirt, aluminum foil, or something else to deter your pets from drinking the tree water.

Closeup of red poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima) flower background

Flowers and Plants – Poinsettias, holly berries, amaryllis, mistletoe, balsam and pine are all known to be toxic to pets.  The ASPCA offers a list of plants that are hazardous to dogs and cats.

Chocolate – Chocolate is a huge no-no for cats and dogs but did you know yeast is as well? So are bones, turkey skin and meat, raisins, grapes, onions and so on.  Use this list from the Humane Society as a guide on what to avoid giving your pets.

Should you suspect your pet of having ingested something toxic call the closest emergency vet or contact the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline at 7-888-426-4435 (a fee may apply).

Sources:  American Veterinary Medical Foundation, ASPCA, Humane Society

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