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Do's and Don'ts of Choosing Pet Safe Decorations

Published on: November 23, 2017  |  Author: Starwood Pet Travel


cat looking at ornaments

The holiday season is a time of joy and celebration, but it's important to remember that the decorations we use can pose real dangers to our pets and even to our own safety. It's crucial to choose pet-safe decorations to ensure that everyone can enjoy a merry and safe holiday season.

So, let's take a closer look at some do's and don'ts when it comes to selecting pet-safe decorations. By following these guidelines, you can create a festive atmosphere without putting your furry friends at risk.





DO consider your furry friend's unique preferences

First and foremost, it's essential to consider your pet's unique preferences. While some pets may easily heed the word "no," many others are curious explorers who use all their senses to investigate their surroundings. They sniff, chew, and even eat things to determine if they are tasty or not. As responsible pet owners, it's our duty to protect them from potential dangers.

DO beware of twitching tails

One common hazard to be aware of is the risk of tails knocking over delicate decorations. A wagging tail or a swishing cat can inadvertently cause damage or injury. To avoid such mishaps, it's important to strategically place fragile or potentially hazardous items out of reach of your pets. This will help ensure that your furry companions can be happy and free to roam without causing any unintended chaos.

DO recognize the dangers of your Christmas tree

Another area of concern is the Christmas tree. While it may be the centerpiece of your holiday decor, it can also present opportunities for your pets to make mistakes if precautions are not taken. Chewing on tree needles can be mildly toxic, depending on the type of tree. Flocking and preservatives used on trees can also be poisonous to pets, and the chemicals can leach into the water bucket. To mitigate these risks, opt for a "clean" tree without any harmful additives and use a skirt or other covering to prevent pets from accessing the tree's water. Additionally, be cautious of your pets chewing on lights, as it can lead to electric shocks or even fires. Ingesting tinsel can also be deadly, as it can cause blockages in their intestines. If you have a mischievous cat who enjoys climbing, it's wise to decorate the lower branches with unbreakable ornaments and consider leaving the lowest branches free of lights as well.

DON’T bake edible ornaments

While baking ornamental cookies may seem like a fun holiday activity, it's best to avoid making edible ornaments if you have pets. Dogs, in particular, are likely to eat them, and the sugar and spices can make them very sick. If you do decide to make ornamental cookies, hang them in places that are inaccessible to pets, such as on walls or higher shelves.

DON’T tempt pets with string-like decor

It's also important to steer clear of temptations that can lead to dire intestinal trouble for your pets. Tinsel is not the only culprit; anything string-like, such as yarn, twine, fabric, or paper ribbon, can cause choking or obstructions in the digestive tract. These obstructions often require emergency surgery and can be fatal. No decoration is worth risking your pet's well-being.

DON'T forget about traditional holiday plants

Traditional holiday plants can also pose risks to your pets. Holly berries, if ingested in large quantities, can cause intestinal problems. While there is some debate about the toxicity of poinsettias, chewing on these plants can still make your pet sick. Consider placing decorative plants in areas that are harder for pets to access, but also be mindful of your cat's ability to jump onto tables, windowsills, mantels, or higher shelves.

Use common sense

In conclusion, pet-proofing your holiday decorations is a matter of common sense and responsible pet ownership. By being aware of the potential dangers and taking necessary precautions, you can ensure that your holidays remain merry and safe for both you and your beloved pets. And remember, it's always a good idea to keep a pet first aid kit handy in case of any emergencies. With these tips in mind, you can relax and enjoy all the beauty and festivities of the holiday season.


Photo by kevin turcios on Unsplash


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