It’s important to be mindful of the health and safety of your pet before you decorate your home for the holidays. While you may be excited to embrace the spirit of the season and transform your home into a winter wonderland, it’s important to educate yourself on the hazards which decorations can pose to pets before you deck the halls. So, before you start putting up the garland and hanging tinsel, here are a few things to keep in mind to make sure you and your pets have a safe and merry holiday season.


While the scene of your cat pawing at a piece of tinsel may look cute, tinsel actually poses a serious health risk to your pet. Cats, in particular, are drawn to this shiny holiday decoration; but if they accidentally ingest it, it can cause serious harm to their digestive system. Although tinsel itself isn’t poisonous, it’s harmful to pets because of its string-like nature. Often times, it can become stuck in the stomach while the remaining end gets pulled with each intestinal contraction, resulting in a saw-like motion that may result in your pet needing abdominal surgery.


Holiday ribbons are a common seasonal decoration that, like tinsel, can be harmful to pets if ingested. Left unchecked, the intestinal damage done by ribbons may lead to serious health problems and infections, so it’s important to know what signs to look for. Upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea, and depression are symptoms associated with your pet ingesting a foreign object. If you see these signs and suspect your pet may have eaten a ribbon or other ornament, call your veterinarian immediately.


Different ornaments pose different threats to pets. While old fashioned bubble lights might give your home a retro holiday look, they contain methylene chloride, which can be poisonous to your pet if they chew on them. Broken glass ornaments can lead to internal cuts if consumed while homemade dough ornaments can lead to neurological issues. It’s important to remember to hang ornaments high on your tree where it will be out of reach of your pet; and if an ornament does break, make sure to clean it up right away.

Holiday Lights

Decorative lights are a staple for many homes during the holiday season, but they can also pose a threat to your pet’s health. Because puppies and kittens may be tempted to chew on cords, it’s important to check your lights for existing bite marks and loose wires while making sure they are kept far away from your tree’s water supply to reduce the risk of electrical shock for both you and your pet.

We want you and your pet to have a safe and merry holiday season, so before you deck the halls remember to make sure your decorations are safely out of reach of your pets. Have more questions about your pet’s health? Call PetWow’s mobile Home Veterinary Care at 513-738-9691 or email us at [email protected]. PetWow has been serving the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area for nearly 50 years! Our experienced team members are ready to help you keep your pets happy and healthy. For more pet care tips, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or LinkedIn!

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