Pet-Safe Holiday Decorating Tips

The holidays are here! We’re delightfully surrounded by Christmas trees, Menorahs, and more. Many of us have hung twinkling lights, garlands, bows, and other seasonal decor by the chimney with care. It’s hard to contain the excitement for the season, but it’s important to recognize that some of our favorite decor can pose a pet safety threat. As professional pet sitters, we’ve spotted some potentially dangerous holiday decor in our clients’ homes. For this reason, we want to share our top pet-safe holiday decorating tips to ensure your pet enjoys the holidays as much as you do!

Watch for Intriguing Movement & Injestion Hazards


holiday pets katy, txTinsel makes everything sparkle. It’s beautiful when it reflects bits of light and can easily elevate holiday decor. Unfortunately, these seemingly harmless little strands are often irresistible to pets, especially cats. Their movement is intriguing and tinsel has an appealing texture to chew. Yet, if tinsel is ingested, it can get wrapped around an animal’s intestines and wreak havoc on their internal organs.

If you can’t live without the tinsel on your tree, place it around the top of your tree or hang it from hooks on the ceiling where your pets can’t reach it. Otherwise, skip the tinsel altogether, especially if you have younger cats and dogs.


holiday pet sitting katy, txMuch like tinsel, ribbon is an ingestion hazard. Because ribbon tends to be longer than tinsel, however, the danger is not limited to ingestion. Ribbon can also be a choking, strangulation, and accidental amputation hazard.  While it may be fun to allow pets to engage in a spool of ribbon while supervising them, never let them play with it alone. And, make sure to store it properly when you’re done using it.

In addition, never put anything around your pet’s neck that is not made specifically for that purpose. A “cute” ribbon around the neck could prove fatal, which is just not worth the risk.

Holiday Lights and Flickering Candles

dog cat sitter katy, txMost of us have seen the Chevy Chase movie, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, in which that poor kitty gets electrocuted by the lights on the tree. Although it’s kind of funny in fiction, the danger is real. And, strung lights can be as much a strangulation risk as they are an electrocution risk. Cats can get tangled in the lights and, in their efforts to cut loose, they can further tangle themselves, their necks, and. their limbs. 

For the same reason as other holiday hazards, pets are intrigued by flickering and sparkling holiday lights. They are equally drawn to candles, their wicks, and flickering flames. Your pets can be seriously injured if left unsupervised around these dangers. For this reason, keep your pets away from electric cords, lights, and candles.

In addition to the threat to your pet, unattended lit candles could easily be knocked over by an excited tail or curious paw resulting a catastrophic house fire. Consider flameless candles and, if sticking to the real thing, purchase pet-safe because toxic candles can hurt our pet’s respiratory system, as well as our own.

Consider Sights & Smells

Christmas Tree Flocking

pets christmas katy, txFlocked Christmas trees – those covered with what looks like snow – are undeniably beautiful. But, they can be dangerous and incredibly messy.

For homes with cats or young, curious dogs, avoid flocking altogether unless you want a pet covered in potentially toxic white lint for the entirety of the holiday season. From ingestion to aspiration, cats are particularly at risk for severe illness or injury from these types of trees.


Please think twice before decorating with live plants in your home this holiday season. Most traditional holiday plants are noxious and considered unsafe for homes with pets. Poinsettias, Mistletoe, Holly, Amaryllis, and even needles from the Christmas tree can be harmful to pets if ingested. Some symptoms of ingestion include vomiting, diarrhea, oral irritation, breathing problems, erratic behavior, lethargy, and even death. It’s better to be safe than sorry when decorating with plants, either leave them out or buy artificial plants to safely beautify your home this time of year.

Natural Fruits & Vegetables

pet safety tips katy, txPinterest in aglow with tips for DIY garlands and ornaments made out of dried fruits and vegetables. Before considering these, consider the materials you’ll use to treat the fruits and veggies before displaying them for the season.

Many craft materials are toxic to pets and humans alike. And, because many of these items will naturally attract a pet, it’s better to be overly safe than devastatingly sorry when DIYing holiday decorations.

Animal Admiration Pet Care Services Katy, TX

Keeping our pets out of harm’s way is an integral part of making a happy and festive home around the holidays. One of the best ways to keep our pets safe, happy, and at ease is to hire a professional pet sitter when your days are long or hectic this holiday season.

Whether you’ve got a big event to attend, are prepping a holiday shindig, or have to travel out of town, Animal Admiration has something for every busy family and their pet. We offer pet sitting and dog walking in KatyFulshearRichmondEnergy CorridorMemorialWest Houston, and Cypress. To learn more about our team and our services, contact us at or (281) 391-1015.

We book up very quickly this time of year therefore don’t delay!



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