How to Set Up a Pet-Friendly and Safe Holiday Decor in Your Home?

February 8, 2024

The holidays are a magical time, filled with twinkling lights, colorful ornaments, and fragrant plants. But for those of you who share your home with pets, decking the halls require a bit more consideration. Whether you have a curious cat, a daring dog, or a small critter keen on exploring, you’ll need to ensure your holiday decor is safe and pet-friendly. Let’s embark on a journey to discover the best practices for setting up decorations that won’t harm your furry friends or dampen your festive spirit.

Choose the Right Holiday Tree

Choosing the right holiday tree is the first step in creating a pet-friendly environment. Traditional Christmas trees might seem like the best option, but they can pose several safety risks for pets.

Real trees are often treated with chemicals that can be harmful if ingested. Pine needles can also become sharp weapons if your pet decides to chew on them. Opting for a fake, pet-friendly tree can help you keep your pet safe while still preserving the traditional holiday look in your home. Nowadays, there are great alternatives available that are non-toxic and sturdy, reducing the chance of the tree toppling over if your cat decides to play Tarzan.

Also, when setting up your Christmas tree, ensure it’s stable, and consider anchoring it to the ceiling or a doorframe. This will prevent it from falling over if your pet decides to investigate or climb it.

Pet-Friendly Ornaments and Decorations

When it comes to decking out your holiday tree, you’ll want to keep your pets in mind. Glass ornaments are beautiful, but they can shatter, causing injuries. Opt for plastic or unbreakable ornaments to avoid any mishaps. You should also avoid tinsel. Though it adds a festive sparkle to your tree, it can be tempting for pets to play with and eat, leading to digestive issues.

Similarly, you should be mindful of where you place your ornaments. Hang delicate and potentially hazardous ones at a higher reach, away from wagging tails and prying paws. Or better yet, consider a pet-friendly decorative theme – perhaps a tree adorned with soft, plush ornaments that won’t cause harm if knocked off.

Safe Holiday Lighting

Nothing says Christmas like a home twinkling with lights. But for homes with pets, it’s crucial to take precautions. Make sure all your electrical cords are out of reach or secured with cord covers to prevent chewing. Also, use lights that don’t generate much heat to prevent potential burns.

Regarding candles, they add a warm, inviting glow, but they’re a safety hazard for pets. Curious cats and dogs can easily knock them over, leading to fires. An excellent alternative is to use LED candles. They provide the same festive atmosphere without the risk.

Choose Pet-Friendly Holiday Plants

Poinsettias, holly, and mistletoe are traditional holiday plants seen in most homes during Christmas. However, they’re toxic to cats and dogs. If ingested, they can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and other severe health problems. Consider pet-friendly plants instead, like Christmas cacti or bromeliads.

Also, it’s important to note that while Christmas trees (both real and artificial) aren’t necessarily toxic, their needles can cause stomach issues if ingested.

Keep Edible Decorations Out of Reach

Holiday treats like gingerbread houses and candy canes make for fun decorations, but they’re also enticing for pets. To prevent your furry friends from getting an unwanted stomach ache, keep these edible decorations out of reach or in a separate room where pets can’t access them.

Remember, the holidays are a time for everyone in the house, including your pets, to enjoy. By taking a few precautions, you can keep the magic alive while ensuring your pets stay safe. The best holiday gift you can give your pet is a safe environment to enjoy the festive season. So, transform your home into a pet-friendly holiday haven and celebrate the season in style and safety!

Manage Your Gift Wrapping Materials

When the holiday season comes around, gifts and the accompanying wrapping materials are a common sight in your home. However, these seemingly harmless items can pose a risk to your pets. Ribbons, bows, and wrapping paper can be highly attractive to pets, especially cats who love to play with them. But, if ingested, these items can cause serious health problems, such as intestinal blockage, and may require surgical intervention.

To make your holiday decor pet safe, it’s essential to immediately clean up wrapping materials after opening gifts. Do not leave these items lying around for your pets to find and potentially chew or swallow. Remember, the sparkle and crinkle of gift wrap can be irresistible to your furry friends, so it’s best to keep these items out of their reach. If you’re looking for a pet-friendly way to wrap gifts, consider using reusable gift bags or cloth wrapping instead.

Also, while it may be tempting to put gifts for your pets under the tree, it’s a good idea to wait until the moment you’re ready to open them. Many pet parents choose to wrap toys and treats for their dogs and cats, but your pets may sniff out these items and try to open them when you’re not watching.

Be Aware of Noise Levels

The holiday season often comes with an accompaniment of loud noises. The constant ringing of jingle bells, booming holiday music, and even the excited chatter of visitors can be stressful for pets, especially for dogs and cats who have sensitive hearing.

To keep your pets comfortable and ease their stress, try to manage noise levels in your home during the holiday season. Be aware of your pet’s reactions to different sounds. If your dog or cat seems to be distressed or anxious, lower the volume or provide them with a quiet space where they can retreat and relax.

Noise-related stress in pets can lead to destructive behaviors, such as chewing on furniture or holiday decorations, and even health issues like loss of appetite or diarrhea. Being mindful of the noise in your environment can contribute greatly to your pet’s well-being during the festive season.


The joy and excitement of the holiday season should extend to all members of your family, including your pets. By taking a few precautions, you can ensure that your holiday decorations are both festive and pet-friendly. Make sure to choose a safe Christmas tree, use pet-friendly ornaments and lights, opt for non-toxic plants, keep edible decorations out of reach, manage your gift wrapping materials, and be aware of noise levels in your home.

Above all, remember that your pet’s safety should always be a top priority. With a bit of planning and consideration, you can create a holiday environment that is both enchanting for you and safe for your furry friends. After all, the most important aspect of the holiday season is spending quality time with those you love, and this includes your beloved pets.