Holiday Décor Do’s and Don’ts in a Home with Pets

Claudia Loomis

Christmas trees, holiday lights, candles, tinsel, poinsettias; the holidays are a magical time with decorations galore! Knowing what can harm your pets is important when deciding how to decorate your home for this wonderful time of year. There are certain decorations that should be avoided completely depending on the pet you have, so educate yourself and avoid having a giant holiday mishap this year!

Christmas trees are a staple in many homes during the holiday season. Our Christmas trees sit in stagnant water throughout the season so they do not go bad. This water is a breeding ground for bacteria and should not be ingested by your pet. Keep your pets away from this water as it could cause an upset tummy with diarrhea or nausea. Using a tree skirt to cover the water may help keep them away from the threat. Other plants like holly and mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems in dogs and cats. Many varieties of lilies can cause acute kidney failure in cats if ingested. Instead, opt for artificial plants made from silk or plastic.

Tinsel is a very common decoration used during the holidays. This beautiful, sparkly, light weight decoration is especially enticing to our feline friends. While they may look cute playing with tinsel, it can be extremely dangerous. Playing can lead to chewing, which can then lead to swallowing. If your cat ingests tinsel it can cause a life threatening obstruction in the digestive tract. Avoid using tinsel if your share your home with felines.

Holiday decorations warm our homes and hearts. Knowing what can be potentially dangerous to our furry companions means a happy and healthy holiday season for all!