holiday decorations

“Deck the halls with boughs of holly…” Wait. Did you just say holly? Holly, like some other seasonal favorites, is actually toxic to pets. And while your kids are secretly shaking their holiday gifts in hopes of guessing the contents, are your dogs doing a little investigating of their own?

This may seem like a Scrooge-like introduction, but there is very good reason behind considering these things. Holidays tend to present a few more risks to our pets, and some of our timeless holiday decorations and decor can take a terrible twist when pet owners are unaware of them.

For a pet-friendly holiday season, we’re here to spotlight some of the worst holiday decorations for pets. In the midst of all the joy and merriment, no pet owner should ever have to deal with an accident or pet emergency. Keeping your pet safe during the holidays is what we intend to do!

The 6 Worst Holiday Decorations for Pets

Surely anyone with a pet may be a bit worried about how long it will be before the Christmas tree topples over (with some help from your pet) or how long before you hear the telltale jingle of an ornament being batted down the hallway. While these situations may present some annoyance, holiday decorations can also be downright hazardous.

  1. Tinsel – Tinsel is the decoration everyone loves to loathe for the sheer fact that it ends up all over the place. But did you know it’s one of the worst tree trimming items for pets? This is because it can cause a serious intestinal blockage when consumed. Avoid tinsel and all string-like decorations, including curling ribbon.
  2. Poisonous plants – As mentioned earlier, holly is a toxin along with mistletoe, amaryllis, poinsettias, and lilies. Stick to the silk or plastic variety for an equally festive table display. As for the Christmas tree, cover the tree stand since additives in the water can be poisonous to your pet.
  3. Candles – Who doesn’t love the glow of a candle flickering on a mantle or a beautifully lit menorah on the dining room table? Unfortunately, singed whiskers and burnt tails are a definite risk when pets are involved. We suggest some battery-powered candles for a lovely seasonal glow.
  4. Lights – Along with the fact that these lights are impossible to untangle after unearthing them from last year’s holiday box, they’re also a problem for pets. Stringed lights, as well as cords, can cause strangulation or electric shock if your pet chews on them. Bundle up loose cords with protective plastic covers, and hang stringed lights out of your pet’s reach.
  5. Breakable ornaments – Glass bulbs are particularly appealing to pets who love to bat them around. Inevitably, one or more of your cherished ornaments will be broken, which could cause possible injury to your pet. To avoid this disaster, place any breakable ornaments high on the tree or, better yet, buy unbreakable plastic or wood decorations.
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  7. Edible items – From Advent calendars to chocolate covered Santas, be mindful of any decoration that comes into your home that involves edibles. Since gift baskets and stocking stuffers also tend to have food in the mix, make sure you know the contents of any package before placing it in the stocking, under the tree, or anywhere within reach of your pet.

Holiday Pet Safety

No matter what festivities await, be certain to factor in safety precautions to make this holiday season as pet-friendly as possible. The team at New Haven Pet Hospital is happy to help you discern the worst holiday decorations for pets, as well as suggest pet-safe alternatives. Please give us a call with any questions.

Happy holidays!