Dec 17 2015

Pet Proofing Your Holiday Decorations

Holiday decoration

Many people love to decorate their homes during the holidays. However, it’s important to be aware of the potential hazards that these decorations can create for our pets. Any time you introduce something new to your house, there’s a good chance your pet is going to want to interact with it, which can lead to some dangerous situations. Luckily, with a bit of pet proofing, you can ensure that your holiday décor doesn’t cause your cat or dog any harm during this holiday season.

The Christmas Tree

Oh Christmas tree, how lovely are you branches! Well, your pets might agree with that statement. The introduction of the Christmas tree to our homes each year seems to catch our pets’ attentions. Often, they can’t help but interact with it in some way, whether that’s trying to eat the decorations, climb its prickly branches, or just full out knocking it over.

The tree itself can be a source of danger for your pet. The needles and oils of a live pine tree can be slightly toxic to your pet, causing irritation their delicate mouths and stomachs. Even an artificial tree could be dangerous if consumed. Don’t let your pet near the tree when you aren’t home, and when you are around, keep a close eye on them and discipline them if necessary to keep them away. If you do catch your pet eating the tree, get them away and monitor their behaviour

In addition, be wary of the water that the tree sits in. Your pets don’t know this, but the water of your Christmas tree could contain bacteria or preserving additives that could make them sick. To prevent your pets from drinking the Christmas tree water, cover it with a tree skirt.

Finally, it’s important to ensure that your tree is strongly secured. If your cat decides to scale its heights, you want to be sure that they won’t send it crashing over. If possible, also elevate your tree to make it less accessible and harder to tip.


There are several types of ornaments that you should steer away from altogether, including tinsel, real mistletoe, fake snow, poinsettias, lilies, and holly.

But that doesn’t mean your house has to be completely bare. You just need to decorate strategically; For example, place glass ornaments high out of reach so they can’t be pulled down by pets and broken. If your cat is especially likely to climb, consider sticking to ornaments that are less breakable, either sturdy plastic or paper. And ensure that hanging decorations, like wreathes and garlands, are securely fastened so they can’t be torn down.

Electrical cords attached to lights can be tempting for pets to chew on. Keep them from suffering electrical burns or worse by covering the cord, placing it high out of reach, or using battery operated lights instead.

Candles are another hazard that are dangerous for both you and your pets. Never leave open flames unattended, as pets may burn themselves or even start a fire by knocking the candles over. A candle flame may warm a room, but make sure it’s always monitored.

With only a few precautions, you can ensure that the holidays are a festive and safetime for your pets.

LifeLearn Team |