Best Raleigh Vet Tips For Pet-Safe Decoration Over the Holidays

best Raleigh vetWith the holiday season upon us, we thought that today would be a great day to share the best Raleigh vet tips for pet-safe decorations over the holidays. No matter what kind of pet you call family, you know that when pet emergencies happen, they always happen over the holidays, so in hopes that we can help your furry family members to stay a little safer during these weeks of celebration, here are some of the best Raleigh vet tips for safe holiday decorating that we could pull together!

Best Raleigh Vet Tips For Pet-Safe Decorating Over the Holidays

During the holidays we all love to keep things festive with decorations, but when you have pets, there are some decorations that can pose a threat to your pets. We recommend avoiding the following:

Your Christmas Tree

We hate to break it to you, but pine tree needles can be toxic to your pet and cause mouth irritation. If your family usually gets a pine tree for the holidays, this year try to get an artificial tree instead or look into non-pine Christmas tree options instead. 

You can always keep your Christmas tree in a room that is inaccessible to your pets or fence off the tree, but we find that it’s much easier (and much less vacuuming) if you go with an artificial tree instead. Plus, as an added bonus, your dog will show much less interest in an artificial tree with no foreign scents or saps as compared to a real tree which brings plenty of mystery into your home.


Candles are easily knocked over by pets. Whether it’s your cat brushing past or your dog’s exuberant tail wagging, all it takes is one move to send a burning candle into your drapes or to singe your pet’s fur. Instead of open flame candles, try LED flameless candles instead!

Ribbons and Tinsel

Ribbons and tinsel are gorgeous additions to gifts and Christmas trees, but they are also eye-catching to your pets. Both ribbon and tinsel can cause problems when chewed or ingested because they can catch between teeth, cause your pet to choke, or when swallowed, they can cause intestinal obstruction. Avoid using ribbons and tinsel altogether, or, if you just have to have these decorations, please use them in rooms that your pet cannot access.


No, we’re not saying that you should have a completely bare Christmas tree this season, but do be mindful of the ornaments that you put on your tree and around your home. Instead of going for glass ornaments that can shatter when knocked off the tree, use plastic ornaments or shatter-proof ornaments. Make sure that none of your ornaments incorporate food – yes, popcorn strands, we’re talking about you! This makes them extra appealing to your pet and can get them into trouble when they try to eat them. Ornaments that resemble toys aren’t a great idea either as your pet can mistake them for toys and keep coming back to them to play!

We also recommend that you try to keep ornaments out of your pet’s reach, use a specialty mat underneath your tree that deters your pet, or place a pen around your tree to keep your pet away. 

Holiday Lights

Those gorgeous strands of lights that everyone loves to string up inside and outside of their home might look the part, but they can also be quite dangerous to your pet. The biggest hazard in these lights is electrocution or strangulation. Pets that chew are often attracted to power cords and the cord that strings your lights together is no different. When chewed, your pet is at risk for electrocution or electric shock. If your pet is a climber (yes, cats, we mean you!) they also run the risk of getting tangled in strand lights and having them wrap around their neck. No amount of beautiful decoration is worth risking your pet’s life.

If you do use stranded lights inside your home or on your tree make sure that they are out of reach of your pet or opt to go with no strand lights this year instead. 

Dangerous Plants

One of the most important best Raleigh vet tips to heed over the holidays is to be wary of dangerous plants. Many of us like to make things look a little extra festive with the addition of holiday plants to our Christmas decor, but more than a few of these plants pose a health risk to your pets and should be avoided!

  • Poinsettia sap can irritate your pet’s mouth and stomach and cause vomiting.
  • Mistletoe is VERY toxic and ingestion is life-threatening, so it should be avoided altogether!
  • Holly berries and their leaves are also toxic and can cause a tummy ache, diarrhea, depression, and vomiting.
  • Lily is life-threatening to cats and should also be avoided completely over the holidays.
  • Pine tree needles can be toxic to your pet and can cause irritation in the mouth.

Need More Than the Best Raleigh Vet Tips This Season?

If you need more than the best Raleigh vet tips this holiday and your pet needs the attention of a licensed veterinarian instead, Leesville Animal Hospital is here for you. Reach out to us with a quick phone call at (919)870-7000 and we’ll get you set up with an appointment right away.

Reference: Henry Schein Animal Health

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