Christmas Decorations which may be Harmful to your Pet

Dog owners are being warned on the dangers of the holiday season

Pet insurance experts from are urging pet owners to look out for choke hazards and keep their four-legged friends away from dangerous holiday decorations.

As many families have started to add festive decor to their homes, it’s crucial to be aware of hidden holiday dangers that could lead to severe consequences for pets.

Pine needles, tinsel, artificial snow, and festive plants all pose threats to furry friends during December.

Pets are curious by nature and therefore it’s no surprise that they’ll want to explore all the new and exciting decorations around the house.

It’s crucial for pet owners to stay vigilant and take proactive measures to create a safe and joyful environment for all members of the household.

Whenever possible, decorations should be kept out of paws reach and pets should always be supervised around the Christmas tree. Founder Greg Wilson said: “From dressing the tree to traditional Christmas plants, some of our favourite holiday decorations may unfortunately put our beloved pets at risk.

“This is why it’s extremely important to keep a close eye on our four-legged family members before they get themselves into trouble – especially if there are new pups in the house.

“To be able to decorate with peace of mind, pet owners should make sure to hang the ornaments higher, hide the cables for Christmas lights and if possible, restrict the access to the tree, as the needles and tree water can be poisonous for pets. 

“If you suspect your pet has ingested something they shouldn’t have, it’s crucial to contact your vet immediately.”

The team at has identified popular Christmas decorations that can be dangerous to pets:

1. Baubles

Pets are often attracted to bright and shiny baubles but ingesting them can lead to serious health issues. Swallowed baubles can cause a dangerous stomach blockage, and some ornaments are made of materials that can be toxic when consumed. Glass baubles can easily break if pets brush against them, causing injuries. To prevent such incidents, it is recommended to hang the ornaments on higher branches, out of reach.

2. Real Christmas tree needles

If you opt for a real tree, it’s important to vacuum the needles regularly to prevent your pets from snacking on them. Ingesting needles can cause serious harm, as their sharp ends can cause an upset stomach and mouth irritation. Additionally, it’s crucial to keep in mind that tree sap is toxic to pets, and if they ingest it, it can result in severe or even fatal consequences. The best option would be to place gates around the tree to limit access to potential dangers.

3. Tinsel

Having tinsel around your house can be a serious choking hazard for pets. Pets may mistake it for a shiny new toy and accidentally swallow it which can cause a life-threatening obstruction in the throat or intestines, requiring emergency surgery. Ideally, pet owners should avoid decorating with tinsel altogether.

4. Fairy lights

Fairy lights should be kept out of reach from pets due to the risk of electric shocks if they bite into the cables. If you have a new pup or your pet is a chewer then it’s best to keep the cables tucked away or hidden. It’s also important to remember to switch the lights off at the mains when they’re not in use.

5. Christmas plants Some of the traditional Christmas plants can be poisonous to pets. Festive plants including Poinsettia, Holly, Mistletoe and Ivy should be excluded from your Christmas decor to prevent your pets from getting ill. However, if you’re a big fan of Christmas greenery then make sure to place the plants on high surfaces that are well out of reach.

6. Presents

Think twice about leaving Christmas presents under the tree early, as your curious four-legged friends may be tempted to open them. Wrapping paper and ribbons could cause a serious blockage in your pet’s stomach if they’ve ingested an excessive amount. It’s especially important to be careful with edible gifts, such as chocolate boxes as the chocolate is highly toxic to dogs and cats.

7. Artificial snow

Although fake snow is usually made with ingredients that have low levels of toxicity, it can still cause an upset stomach for pets. If a large amount has been eaten, it can lead to a build-up and blockage, so to be safe, it’s better to avoid using artificial snow as a decoration or restrict it to areas your pet can’t access.

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