How to Keep Pets Away from Holiday Decorations


Whether your dog chews on Christmas decorations or your cat plays with tinsel, your favorite Christmas decorations can be dangerous to your favorite furry friends. But with the proper safety measures, you can avoid unexpected vet bills. Here are our top pet vacation tips, so you can keep your four-legged loved ones safe (and their bright and happy season).

How to keep your furry friends safe this season: 10 vacation tips for pet owners

A photograph of a French Bulldog sitting in front of a Christmas tree with presents, wearing an Alice Band hat.

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You’ve probably seen a lot of cute photos of cats and dogs poking out of the branches of a downed tree. While that’s good for an online giggle, it’s definitely not a scenario you want to go home to. When it comes to Christmas pet tips, we can’t stress enough how important it is to give your tree some extra support. Put it in a weighted pot, raise it on a pedestal, or simply adding weights to the base can help keep it upright. For added security, move your most fragile ornaments to the higher branches.

Avoid edible tree decorations like popcorn garlands or candy decorations. While they may look cute, they can attract your pet to the tree. And don’t add anything to your tree’s water to preserve it because your pets might lick it. A tree skirt can help discourage a particularly curious pet from drinking the tree’s water.

If you have a cat who loves to climb, you can also consider an alternative to the traditional evergreen. We have put together some pet-proof Christmas tree options for you.

If you wrapped a bone or catnip, don’t put it under the tree with the rest of the gifts. Your pets can smell those yummy treats indoors and the temptation can become unbearable. And once your pet has unwrapped one gift, it’s harder to protect the rest. Instead, store pet gifts in a safe, inaccessible place until it’s time to open them.

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Placing Christmas lights can be a lot of fun. Worrying about the electrical safety of those wires is decidedly less, which is why this is one of the most important Christmas tips for pets.

To prevent your chewing pet from reaching the light cords, you can mount the cords higher on the wall and out of the way of your pets. You also can cover them with a sturdy coveror swap the plug-in lights for those that work with batteries. It’s easy to keep battery packs away from pets by tucking them into tree limbs, stockings, or other protected areas.

Many of the Christmas classics are potentially harmful to pets, including poinsettias, holly, and mistletoe. Before bringing something alive into your home for the holiday season, do a quick Google search to see if it’s safe for your pets. You might be surprised by the results, but you’ll be glad you learned the potential risks now, rather than through a trip to the vet. It’s easier to skip these toxic items entirely than to have to worry about ways to keep pets away from Christmas decorations all season long.

Candles are a Christmas tradition and a danger. An open flame is quite risky if you have pets roaming around, especially when you have guests, overstimulating your furry friends and distracting you from their activity. Avoid this potential catastrophe by swapping real candles for battery-powered candles. the newer options They surprisingly look like real flames and can even be scented. Changing your candles gives you one less thing to worry about during the hectic holiday season.

Jessica Peterson / Getty Images

While you are aware of the dangers the holidays pose to your pets, your guests may not be. And during the holiday season, it’s not uncommon to have chocolate in a coat or purse pocket, or a tempting tinsel ornament as a gift. When you are the host, designate a room where everyone can put their jackets, bags, and gifts. Add a sign to the door (you can decorate it in a Christmas style!) That reminds everyone to keep the door closed. That way, you protect your pets from risks you can’t control.

With all the baking and Christmas cooking ahead of you, your trash will probably be filled with some pretty tempting leftovers. If you have a pet that loves to rummage through the garbage, this is a time of year when it is worth taking extra precautions to avoid it. Bones are especially interesting to pets, but when chewed, they can break and pose a serious threat during digestion. Move garbage to an inaccessible area, put something heavy on top, or invest in a trash can with secure lid to protect your pets.

This may be one of the most important holiday tips for pet owners. Tinsel may be pretty to look at, but it can be incredibly dangerous for your pets. Whether it’s a cat or dog, your pet might be tempted to eat the tinsel, which can wreak havoc on his digestive system and lead him to the vet with a serious and serious problem. Forget tinsel altogether whenever you have pets in the house to avoid scary mishaps.

A mongrel dog is looking in a bag with Christmas gifts
Brigitte Blättler / Getty Images
  • Keep alcohol out of reach

You know how much your dog loves to eat absolutely everything, alcohol is no different. Your dog may smell your spiked eggnog or hot punch and won’t be able to resist tasting it, but alcohol won’t do him any favors. Keep your alcoholic beverage where your pets cannot reach it, so as not to accidentally make them sick. Alcohol affects animals differently than people and could result in a trip to the vet with a sick puppy.

The holidays can be just as overwhelming for your pets as it is for you. There may be a lot going on in your home, between decorating, cooking and fostering. If you have a pet that is easily stressed and misbehaves because of it, make sure they have a safe place to hide.

Some animals can break up Christmas decorations, gifts, or food simply from the stress of it all, so set up a cozy nest for your pet to hide out. A happy pet is a well-behaved pet!

The bottom line

With a little prep work and a collection of Christmas pet tips, you and your fur family can have a happy season. Just be sure to do your best to keep your pets away from Christmas decorations and dangerous things like candy and alcoholic beverages, and provide them with a safe place to escape when the holidays get too much for them!

Frequent questions


How do I keep pets away from my Christmas tree?


The best option for this is to not give your pets access to the tree at all. Put up a barrier, be it a door or something similar, or close a door to the room the tree is in so your pets can’t even get to it.


Is a Christmas tree poisonous to cats?


Yes, Christmas trees can be slightly toxic to cats if bitten. Tree oils can cause irritation inside your cat’s mouth, so don’t let her chew on pine needles or tree trunks.


How do I keep my dog ​​away from Christmas presents?


Put up a barricade so your dog can’t get to the presents. You also can’t put gifts under the tree until Christmas morning or keep them out of your dog’s reach.

Hedy Phillips is a freelance lifestyle writer based in New York. He writes on a variety of topics, including home decor trends and travel tips. Their signatures have been featured in various publications, including POPSUGAR, Hunker, Cosmopolitan, and more.


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