pet decorationsThere is nothing like the holidays that can bring to mind joy, togetherness, and the ambience of the season. Lights that twinkle during the cold, dark nights, the festive array of poinsettias and holly, and the oh-so-welcoming scent of the fir tree all has its nostalgic charms this time of year.

Holiday decorations and decor, while enticing to us, also seem especially enticing to our mischievous elves, our pet companions. Pets and decorations often do not mix. The team at True Care Veterinary Hospital is here to help you avoid any mishaps that might result in a less than beautiful holiday season.

The Usual Festive Culprits

For most pet owners, the merriment of this year’s amazingly trimmed tree comes with some reticence. Cats (yes, we know what you do) love to climb and scratch, which makes a Christmas tree a particularly appealing novelty.

Not only can trees present laceration injuries with their pointy, sharp needles, they are also rife with preservatives, insecticides, and other toxic chemicals that can leach into tree water. Cover all tree stands and observe your pet while around the tree, as well as anchor the tree to the ceiling or adjoining wall for added security.

Lit Candles

The soft glow of candlelight is the epitome of the holidays, but what may seem like a casual ambience may be a potential threat to curious whiskers and tails. Lights from the menorah, a display on the mantle, or taper candles on your holiday table can easily be knocked over by a pet, and result in accidental fires and burns.

Rather than lighting candles, you can instead choose battery-powered candles for that festive glow.

Holly & Mistletoe

These beautiful green and red seasonal plants are found in many of our holiday bouquets. But certain plants, including lilies, holly, and mistletoe, are toxic to pets, and, when ingested, can create symptoms ranging from gastrointestinal upset to more serious issues like kidney failure.


There is nothing so interesting to most pets, and especially cats, as these shiny, string-like decorations. Tinsel, as well as ribbon and curling string, are the worst decorations for causing pet emergencies. Because they are easily ingested, they can result in an obstruction within the digestive tract, which often require surgical removal.


What’s more irresistible than a brightly colored orb, just hanging on the tree, waiting to be batted around? Breakable ornaments are oftentimes the first thing on the tree your pet will go for. To avoid an accident, hang delicate ornaments higher up on the tree, or opt for some sturdy plastic, wood, or other suitable pet-friendly ornaments.

(And don’t forget, anything edible like popcorn and cookie ornaments are obviously appealing to your furry friends, too.)

Pets and Decorations

From sharp tree hooks to toxic plants, there are many things to look out for when it comes to pets and decorations. While you have to avoid certain things that can harm, you can always reward your pet with some extra special treats this season. DIY cookies and treats can be made into a variety of festive shapes, and offered to your pet in lieu of all of the no-no’s.

We are here to help with all of your fur friend’s holiday needs. Please call us with any additional questions.