The holidays are officially here, and shopping and decorating are in full swing. If you have a furry family member, it’s essential to keep them in mind when it comes to decorating to help prevent injury or illness.

Here are some pet-proofing tips to get you started.

Holiday Plants

Poinsettias are synonymous with the holidays but are toxic to pets. It’s the milky white sap, officially known as diterpenoid euphorbol esters, which are the culprit to the health and wellness of pets if consumed.

Other holiday plants to avoid are:

  • Holly berries
  • Pine tree needles
  • Lilies
  • Mistletoe
  • Christmas Cactus
  • Amaryllis

When in doubt, do some online research to ensure the holiday plants you’re bringing home are pet-friendly.

Christmas Tree Considerations

From décor to more, there are steps to making your Christmas Tree safe for your furry family members during the holidays. Here’s a checklist to keep you on track when dog-proofing your Christmas Tree:

  • Place breakable and fragile ornaments at the top of the tree to keep them away from dogs
  • Keep lower-hanging branches free of ornaments and garland
  • Be sure to secure your tree to prevent it from falling over
  • Do not decorate the tree with edible ornaments or garland
  • Prevent pets from getting to the Christmas Tree Water Stands (stagnant water from the tree can be harmful to pets)
  • Avoid tinsel

As an extra precaution, feel free to place a gate around the tree to help ward off temptations.

Candles and Chocolates

While scented candles are must-have in some holiday homes, be sure to place them in a high spot like a mantel or countertop. Keep candles away from pets to avoid injury or a wagging tail sending a lit candle toppling onto the floor.

As for chocolates, keep these sweet temptations clear from dogs as the theobromine in chocolate is toxic and potentially life-threatening.

A Little Planning Goes A Long Way

During the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s important to make those minor adjustments to keep pets safe.

For any questions regarding toxicities, feel free to call the ASPCA Poison Control, available 24 hours a day, at 1-888-426-4435.