Holiday Decorating Safety for Pets
Greenery, lights and Christmas trees can make the holidays festive, but they also pose risky temptations for our pets.
- Christmas trees can tip over if pets climb on them or try to play with the lights and ornaments. Consider tying your tree to the ceiling or a doorframe using fishing line to secure it.
- Water additives for Christmas trees can be hazardous to your pets. Do not add aspirin, sugar, or anything to the water for your tree if you have pets in the house.
- Ornaments can cause hazards for pets. Broken ornaments can cause injuries, and ingested ornaments can cause intestinal blockage or even toxicity. Keep any homemade ornaments, particularly those made from salt-dough or other food-based materials, out of reach of pets.
- Tinsel and other holiday decorations also can be tempting for pets to eat. Consuming them can cause intestinal blockages, sometimes requiring surgery. Breakable ornaments or decorations can cause injuries.
- Electric lights can cause burns when a curious pet chews the cords.
- Flowers and festive plants can result in an emergency veterinary visit if your pet gets hold of them. Amaryllis, mistletoe, balsam, pine, cedar, and holly are among the common holiday plants that can be dangerous and even poisonous to pets who decide to eat them. Poinsettias can be troublesome as well. The ASPCA offers lists of plants that are toxic to dogs and cats.
- Candles are attractive to pets as well as people. Never leave a pet alone in an area with a lit candle; it could result in a fire.
- Potpourris should be kept out of reach of inquisitive pets. Liquid potpourris pose risks because they contain essential oils and cationic detergents that can severely damage your pet’s mouth, eyes and skin. Solid potpourris could cause problems if eaten.