How to keep pets safe around holiday decorations

Home for the Holidays

The State Dining Room of the White House is decorated for the holiday season during a press preview of the White House holiday decorations, Monday, Nov. 29, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(WFXR) — It was the month of December when all through the house, decorations filled the rooms and definitely weighed more than an ounce.

The tree is in place, the stockings are hung, and the holiday glow can be seen throughout the neighborhood. But pets of all sizes can surely wreak some havoc and not for the greater good.

How do you keep your pets safe this holiday season, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has this helpful guide.


Christmas Tree:

  • Secure the Christmas tree to keep it from tipping or falling, which can injure your pet.
  • Anchoring the tree keeps pets from drinking the tree water, which may contain fertilizers.
  • Tree water can also breed bacteria, and your pet could end up with nausea or diarrhea if ingested.

Mistletoe & Holly:

  • If a pet ingests holly, it can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
  • Mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal and cardiovascular problems.
  • The best option is to look for artificial plants made from silk or plastic.


  • Cats that swallow tinsel can cause obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting, dehydration, and possibly the need for surgery.
  • Look for other items to brighten your boughs this year.


  • Pets can get burned from lighted candles that are unattended.
  • Animals can also knock over the candles and start a fire.
  • Use appropriate candle holders and place them on a stable surface.
  • If you leave the room, put the candle out.
  • Use flameless candles.

Holiday Lights and Ornaments:

  • Be careful with wires around pets because they can deliver potentially lethal electrical shock.
  • A punctured battery can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus.
  • Fragile ornaments, if broken, can damage your pet’s mouth and digestive tract.

If you are planning a holiday gathering, take some precautions to protect your pet.

The ASPCA says to make sure to have some house rules for guests who are attending, make sure all medications are locked behind secure doors and give your pet a quiet space to retreat to.

During a New Year’s Eve party, there are several ways to keep your pets safe.

The ASPCA says to keep in mind that strings of confetti can get stuck in a cat’s intestines if ingested. Also, noisy poppers can be terrifying to pets and cause damage to sensitive ears. Lastly, fireworks can scare pets, so make sure to put them in a safe, escape-proof area when midnight approaches.

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