Holiday Decorating Tips to Keep Your Pets Safe

October 21, 2019

With Halloween just around the corner and Thanksgiving and Christmas quickly approaching, the holiday decorating season is in full swing. Whether you’re breaking out your spookiest decor or setting the table for the holidays, don’t forget that some seemingly safe decorations can be harmful to your furry babies. 

Here are a few tips to keep your dogs and cats safe and your home holiday-ready. 

Tips for Safe Holiday Decorations

Decorating for Halloween is the perfect opportunity to showcase your creativity. However, some items can change the holiday from a scary good time to downright scary for your pet. 

Limit Indigestible or Difficult-to-digest Decorative Foods

Pumpkins are a Halloween must and look beautiful as a part of your cornucopia centerpiece. Although it typically helps dogs with digestion when pureed, a carved jack-o-lantern is risky. When not refrigerated, carved pumpkins are a breeding ground for mold, which can be toxic for dogs. Additionally, if your best pal takes a bite out of the pumpkin and doesn’t chew it well, the pumpkin can get lodged in their intestinal tract, according to    

Corncobs are another fall decor staple. However, corn is indigestible, leading to upset stomachs and more. Make sure that corncob decorations are kept safely away from pets and never used as a chew toy.

Use Safe Lighting Options

Candles are incredibly versatile, perfect for setting a spooky mood or creating a relaxing ambiance. However, real candles can create a fire hazard if accidentally knocked over by a playful pet. Instead, opt for electric candles as a safer alternative.

Glow sticks are popular for Halloween parties but can pose a threat to curious pets. Although the liquid inside is non-toxic if ingested, it still has a foul taste. This can lead to excessive drooling or vomiting as pets try to get rid of the taste. 

Make Floral Arrangements Safe

Floral centerpieces and arrangements are a beautiful addition to your Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Halloween spread. However, keep in mind that some popular holiday plants can be poisonous to your dogs and cats. Avoid or keep these plants away from your pets: 

  • Autumn crocus
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Acorns from oak trees
  • Daffodils, especially the bulbs
  • Lilies
  • Holly
  • Mistletoe

While not toxic, live Christmas trees can still be dangerous. For example, oils produced by fir trees can irritate pet’s mouths and stomachs, leading to excessive drooling or vomiting. Tree needles can also cause gastrointestinal blockage, irritation or even punctures. Another danger that often goes unnoticed is your tree’s water dish. This water is filled with bacteria, mold, and fertilizers that make your dog or cat extremely sick. 

An artificial tree is ideal for homes with pets. However, if your holidays aren’t complete without a live tree, make sure to gate the area around it to keep your furry friends safe throughout the holidays. 

Holiday String Lights

String lights are a hallmark of the Christmas season and are often used with Halloween decorations as well. These lights can attract pets who like to chew, potentially leading to electrocution or fires. To keep super chewer pets safe, make sure that lights are safely away from pets or encased in plastic tubing.

These are just a few tips to make sure your furry family members enjoy the holidays and stay safe. We hope you find these helpful and please contact your veterinarian as soon as possible if your dog or cat encounters any of the hazards listed in this article or others.