When you think of the holiday season, it’s safe to assume that some of the cherished, traditional decor and decorations come to mind. From the twinkling lights to the star placed atop the tree, the holidays wouldn’t seem complete without the glow and dazzle of seasonal ambience.

While these decorations seem like a must for many people, they can pose risks to our pets. Since the decorating festivities will soon be upon us, the team at AIMSS is here to help you discern which decorations and pets are not a good combination.

Holiday Decorations and Pets: What to Avoid

Whether you’re lighting a menorah or trimming a tree, there are some general situations to be aware of when it comes to your four-legged friend:

Lit candles – The flickering lights give such a warm and festive glow to any holiday, but they’re definitely hazardous to a curious pet. Everything from singed whiskers to an accidental fire caused by an exuberant tail can result. Rather than candlelight, opt for battery-operated candles instead (or ensure candles are in an enclosed container and out of your pet’s reach).

Tinsel and other string – Pets, especially our feline friends, love to chew on and eat any sort of ribbon or string. When ingested, these seemingly innocuous items can cause gastrointestinal problems, including an obstruction that may require surgery.

Toxic plants and decor – Many of our seasonal favorites are also toxic to pets, like holly, mistletoe, amaryllis, and poinsettias. Christmas trees contain pesticides, preservatives, and other chemicals, as well as tree water additives. Cover the tree stand to keep your pet from ingesting the water, and choose silk or plastic foliage over the real thing.

Edibles – Holiday items like Advent calendars, chocolate Santas, and other treats should be stashed away from pets. Seasonal baskets containing food should also be placed on a high shelf or in a cabinet (the wrapping will likely not deter a curious pet).

Lights – Stringed lights are a beautiful addition to your tree, window, or mantle. If chewed on, they’re also a problem for pets because they can cause strangulation or electric shock. To keep the twinkle in the season, place lights higher than your pet can access, and bundle loose cords together and put them in plastic or rubber cord protectors.

Breakables – This may seem like the most obvious of all hazards, but breakable ornaments can spell trouble for pets. Bulbs are particularly fun to bat around by cats and dogs alike, so place these items high on the tree or display them in a case for safekeeping.

It may seem there are a lot of holiday no-no’s on our list, but making your seasonal decorations as pet-proof as possible can help you avoid an emergency trip to the vet. Should you have any questions about decorations and pets, we’re always here to assist! Please give us a call.