Along with the winter holidays come the presentation of decorations. While they are nice to look at, they can be very dangerous to pets within the home. Here are some ideas to use in keeping the home looking festive while keeping pets safe and out of an animal hospital in the process.

Poinsettia plants are known to be poisonous to dogs and cats. Cats will chew at the leaves on pretty much any plant present in the home. If the home does not normally have greenery, and someone brings in a poinsettia to spruce up the visual appearance of the area, it will put pets that live in the home at risk. Stick with non-poisonous holiday plants to avoid an animal emergency.


If a tree is going to be placed in the home, it should be secured to the wall so it does not fall on a pet by accident. Since pets will find the tree enticing, they may try to climb it. This can cause it to topple over if it is not tied to the wall. Screw a metal loop in the wall and use heavy-duty wine to tie the tree to the loop. This will keep the tree secure if pets decide to take a close look.

Bypass the use of glass ornaments altogether. Pets often think these shiny decorations are play toys. They may bat at them and knock them to the ground, shattering them in the process. This can cause a great deal of injury to the pet as a result. Do not use tinsel on a tree. Cats and dogs both enjoy nipping at these enticing pieces of silver foil. This can cause gastrointestinal troubles if the pieces are swallowed. The tinsel can also become wrapped around the pets tongue, making it hard for them to breath or eat. Use thick garland on the tree if a shiny appearance is wanted.

Do not string popcorn or berries on thread to place on a tree. These can be eaten, making the pet sick afterwards. Holiday lights are another troublesome item. Place these on the upper portion of the tree so they are not in an area where pets can chew on their wires. When the lights are plugged in, keep pets in another room so they do not run into the risk of electrocution if they bite wires.

If someone needs further information about when to bring a pet to an animal hospital, AEC-D can be contacted. Someone will be able to provide immediate answers.