There’s nothing quite like decorating for the holidays. Putting up a Christmas tree, stringing lights around the house, and lighting some candles can help make your home feel inviting and festive. The problem is that many of our pets think these decorations look inviting and interesting, as well. With all these decorations, it can be difficult to keep our furry friends safe during the holidays. Following some simple pet safety tips for holiday decorating can help keep your pet safe this holiday season!

1. Secure Your Christmas Tree

Many families put up a Christmas tree and aren’t aware that it could be dangerous for their pets. Pets may try and climb on a Christmas tree or play with the lights and ornaments. To prevent your tree from tipping over and falling on your pet, you can anchor your tree to the ceiling using some fishing line. If you have a curious cat, you can try putting foil around the base of your tree as most cats don’t like stepping on it.

If you have a live tree, the tree water may contain fertilizers and bacteria, which can cause diarrhea and an upset stomach if your pet ingests it. You should try and prevent your pet from drinking water from the tree stand. Water additives can also be dangerous for pets, so you shouldn’t add anything to the water for your tree.

2. Skip the Tinsel

Tinsel is fun and sparkly, and many people decorate their trees and homes with it. Naturally, cats are attracted to this shiny stuff and often try to play with it. Some cats may be tempted to try and eat tinsel, which can be very dangerous as it can lead to intestinal blockages. Often surgery is the only way to clear a blockage in the intestines.

3. Be Cautious with Candles

Candles tend to be popular during the cold winter months. They smell good and can make your home feel warm and cozy. But it’s important to never leave lit candles unattended. Your dog or cat might accidentally knock the candle over, which could start a fire, or they might burn themselves if the candle is within reach.

A good rule of thumb: put candles out if you are leaving the room. Keep your pet and home safe by using candle holders and keeping candles on a stable surface out of your pet’s reach.

4. Beware of Wires, Lights, and Ornaments

Holiday decorations often include a lot of wires and lights. Our curious pets may be tempted to chew on these electrical cords and bright lights, which can cause burns and dangerous electrical shocks. Keeping wires and lights out of your pet’s reach is best, as well as unplugging all decorations when you’re not around. Taping wires to the floor is another easy solution!

Ornaments can be dangerous for our pets, as well. While they may look like a fun toy to our pets, they can be choking hazards for our furry friends. Plus, a broken glass ornament can cause issues if stepped on or swallowed.

5. Keep Holiday Plants & Potpourris Out of Reach

Some holiday plants and flowers can be poisonous to pets, so it’s best to keep all holiday plants out of your pet’s reach. If ingested, these plants may cause vomiting, diarrhea, or cardiovascular issues. Common holiday plants that can be dangerous to pets include holly, mistletoe, lilies, balsam, pine needles, cedar, amaryllis, and poinsettias. Silk or plastic plants and flowers are much safer and just as festive!

Potpourris can be dangerous for pets, as well. Solid potpourris can cause digestive problems if your pet tries to eat it. Liquid potpourris often contain essential oils, perfumes, and chemicals that can be toxic and damage your pet’s mouth, skin, and eyes.

Holiday decorations can still be fun, festive, and safe if you follow a few simple tips. We hope you all have a safe, happy holiday season with your furry friends!