Dog-Friendly Holiday Decorations

Learn how to deck the halls the dog-friendly way with these helpful tips! Yule be happy you read this one (and so will your pup).


‘Tis the season for festive décor! Before turning your home into a magical wonderland, it’s important to make sure what you’re bringing inside is safe for your furry friend.

From poinsettia pointers to tinsel tips, we’ve got you covered.


    Unfortunately, not all greenery is created equal when it comes to dog safety. So, sap, er, strap in and let’s talk plants.

    Do not let your pup near:

    Mistletoe and holly: These plants make our “naughty list” because they are very, very poisonous to your dog.

    Yew: This popular evergreen falls under a variety of names (e.g., Buddhist pine, yew plum pine, fern pine, yew pine, Japanese yew and Southern yew), but is extremely dangerous and fatal to dogs.

    Your pup is OK to be around:

    Poinsettia: Contrary to popular belief, this seasonal staple is not toxic and safe to bring into your space—though it can cause mild stomach irritation if ingested in large amounts.

    Fir, spruce, Norfolk pine and pine trees: These make beautiful Christmas trees AND the pine needles themselves are not particularly toxic for Santa Paws! That being said, pick up fallen needles to protect dog paws and cover the tree reservoir often, as it has harmful chemicals and fertilizer.

    Generally speaking, don’t bring any clippings into your home unless you’ve identified the plant. For more details on toxic plants, check out this list from the ASPCA. Remember: Often, artificial plants look just as good as the real deal. If you go with this alternative, don’t worry, your secret’s safe with us.


    Chewing paper packages tied up with string, this is one of Fido’s favorite things. It’s no secret that dogs love to get into any and all holiday décor, but follow these steps to dog-proof your home.

    First, we’ll cover the biggie: Tree decorating. If you have breakable ornaments you want to display, secure them to the branch with hooks and ensure they’re high enough to be out of your dog’s way. Also, try to avoid decorating with strands of popcorn or tinsel since these are very tempting for your dog and can pose a choking hazard. The same also goes for string lights. An easy solution? Tape the string light wires to the sides of the room. Lastly, do your dog a favor by not putting the tree in front of Spot’s favorite window.

    Whether you’re dealing with snow globes or menorahs, there are tons of objects that your pup could potentially knock over. The key to securing these holiday-themed objects? Elevating them. Sounds simple, but don’t forget how high Fido can jump when he’s excited. Plus, we could all use a little reminder, right?

    Now, onto the heavy metal. Nope, Metallica didn’t release a holiday album...we’re talking heavy metal stocking holders. Though they spice up a mantle, your pup can tug on a stocking and cause the holder to topple down. Instead, secure your stockings with a plastic hook attached by removable tape or find a new home for the stockings, like on a doorknob.

    While decorating the house is fun, the extra decor can prove to be tricky with a pet. The key is to simply pretend your dog is a puppy again and keep a constant eye out for potential dangers.


    A dog’s sense of smell is 10,000 times greater than humans, so go easy on your pup’s sensitive nose by following these seasonal scent tips.

    Big on essential oils? There isn’t much research on essential oils and dog safety, so speak with your veterinarian if you have questions about oils in your home. We can tell you that essential oils are extremely potent due to their high concentration, which is why you should diffuse them via steam. If you do want to bring essential oils into your home, avoid cinnamon, citrus, pennyroyal, peppermint, pine, sweet birch, tea tree (melaleuca), wintergreen, and ylang ylang since all of these oils are toxic to your pup, whether ingested or spread on their skin.

    More of a candle lover? While we all love a fir tree candle during this time, scented candles often contain ingredients such as essential oils that could cause allergic reactions. Some believe that the fumes can also potentially cause health problems in dogs and humans alike. If you light candles purely for the ambiance, try switching to 100% beeswax candles because they’re easy on allergies, don’t drip and are non-toxic. Again, your veterinarian is the final expert on which scented candles are OK to light.

Congrats! You now know how to keep your dog safe while keeping the holiday spirit going stronger than Aunt Edna’s eggnog.

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