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An x-ray of a Christmas light in a dog’s stomach (above). Tip: place twinkle lights higher up on your tree to make it harder for dogs to reach.

Decorated Christmas trees and a fully lit menorah or kinara are showstoppers. Ornaments, lights, and seasonal scents add to the festive feeling of the season. They also seem like shiny new playthings to your curious pet.

When decorating your home for the holidays, take precautions for cats and dogs.

Make the best choices for your pet or block access to decorations to keep your furry friends healthy and safe.

Real vs artificial trees: which is safer?

  • Real trees are poisonous to your pet if eaten. Oils from fir, spruce, and pine trees can irritate your pet’s mouth and tummy. This leads to drooling, nausea, and vomiting—and extra cleanup on top of the needle drop. Plus, the beckoning oasis of water in the tree stand is also full of toxins.
  • Artificial trees aren’t pet-proof. The synthetic needles can wad up and get caught in your pet’s tummy if swallowed.
  • Either way, anchor your tree so it doesn’t fall on your pet.

Stay away from strings of lights and lit candles

  • Twinkle lights grab your cat or dog’s attention. Pets can suffer from electrical burns or shocks if they chew on strands of plugged-in lights. Unplug the strands when you’re not around.
  • Keep an eye on lit candles to avoid burnt paws and fire hazards.

Swap glass decorations for plastic

A kitten batting at Christmas ornaments is an adorable image. Yet, glass balls and fragile figures can be knocked from the tree and shatter. Your pet can cut their paws on the shards, or startle when an ornament crashes and leap from the tree to injury.

Ditch the tinsel and edible decorations

Sparkly strands, popcorn balls, and cinnamon-scented pinecones make tempting decorations. Avoid adornments that your furry pal cannot resist or block access to your tree.

If your cat or dog seems headed for a stocking full of coal — they ransack your Christmas tree, cut a paw, or eat sparkly tinsel — call our team. We are here for you 24/7.

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