Keeping your pet safe and healthy this Christmas

Many holiday decorations can be dangerous to your pet

With Christmas approaching, many pet parents plan to include them in the festivities this year. 

And as you gear up for holiday parties, it's important to keep a close eye on dangers that could put your pet's safety at risk.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals released helpful tips to keep your pet healthy during the holidays.

Christmas trees

Make sure your Christmas tree is secured, so it won't easily tip and fall over. That will also prevent the tree water, which could contain fertilizers that could harm your pet, from spilling. Stagnant tree water could also carry bacteria that could make your pet sick.

Mistletoe and holly

If your pet eats holly, it could cause nausea, vomiting and other issues. According to the ASPCA, mistletoe can also cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems. Many varieties of lilies can also cause kidney failure in cats if ingested. Try to stick with artificial plants or a pet-safe bouquet.


Cats love shiny tinsel. It's easy to play with and carry in their mouth. But if it's swallowed, it could lead to an obstructed digestive tract, vomiting, dehydration and possible surgery. Try to avoid using tinsel if possible.


Don't ever leave lit candles unattended, especially with pets around. They may get burned or cause a fire if they knock them over. Use appropriate candle holders on a stable surface. And if you leave the room, blow them out. Battery-operated candles are also a good suggestion.


Be sure to keep wires, batteries and ornaments out of your pet's reach. A wire can deliver a lethal electrical shock (remember the cat in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation?), and a punctured battery can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus. Breakable ornaments can also damage your pet's mouth and digestive tract.

And as we load up our plates for holiday dinners, if you're planning on sneaking your pet a snack from under the table, there are some foods you should avoid.

To see which foods are safe for your pet and which ones to avoid, click here.