Dog opening a Christmas gift

Christmas with pets

A guide for pet owners: dangers under the Christmas tree


With its customs and traditions, the Christmas season is a time of pleasure and contemplation for human beings. But for pets, it can get dangerous. In order to enjoy a carefree time with your four-legged loved ones, we recommend some precautionary measures:

The Christmas tree

For cats and puppies in particular, the Christmas tree is an interesting novelty in the living room. They would just love to explore each twig  – as well to gnaw at the branches and other things not at all intended for them. That can be risky.

Tree stand

Take good care to make sure that the tree is firmly fixed in a heavy stand and is additionally fastened to the walls. Many times a Christmas tree has been felled by climbing cats or jumping dogs. Caution: drinking out of a water-retaining tree stand can be very unhealthy for pets.

Tree decorations

Tree decorations must be pet-proof. Please make do without the following ornaments:

  • Glass baubles. Young, as well as adult animals, often confuse them with toys. But glass ornaments can easily shatter. The shards can hurt animals. Wooden and natural ornaments are less dangerous for animals, though there is still a danger of swallowing. Make sure that decorations are not fixed with metal hooks for hanging on the tree.
  • Tinsel. Tinsel can lead to intestinal obstruction if swallowed and in former times or rare cases can contain particles of tin foil or even lead which is toxic.
  • Wax candles. Playing with animals close to a fir tree lit with candles can easily lead to a fire at the slightest touch, or to a pet burning itself. Please use electric fairy lights instead of wax candles. However, the risk remains that an animal may bite through the cable. For this reason, never leave your pets alone with the Christmas tree.
  • Snow spray. This spray is popular for trees and window panes to simulate decorative frost flowers and snowflakes. But pets like licking it off, which can lead to lethal poisoning.
Dog Anuuk

Ribbons, fragrance oils and plants

Popular Christmas plants

Among the popular plants that enter our living rooms around Christmas time are holly, mistletoe and poinsettia. If 'tasted' by a pet, these plants can cause toxic reactions. Place or hang these plants where your pets cannot get at them and do not leave your animals unattended in the room. But it's best to avoid poisonous Christmas plants altogether.

Bows and ribbons

Ribbons and bows hold a huge attraction for young pets as well as adult cats. The danger of strangulation should not be underestimated. And if parts are swallowed, intestinal obstruction can result.

Fragrance oils

Fragrance oils can lead to poisoning. Take care to keep oil burners out of reach of animals and never leave pets alone in a room with a burner. Also, keep in mind that animals have a much finer sense of smell than we humans. What we might perceive as pleasurable can torment a pet.

Christmas dinner

Our Christmas meals are absolutely a taboo for pets. Waste bins containing splintering chicken or fine fish bones and remnants of spiced food must be well sealed or kept in an inaccessible place so that animals cannot feast on them. Serious digestive problems and even intestinal injuries have taken many pet owners and their four-legged friends to veterinary emergency services over the holiday.


Pet stores at Christmas offer treats for our pets. Don't be blinded by rich displays. If you would like to treat your darling, it is better to buy a natural product containing distinct ingredients. And your pet does not always need a Christmas biscuit from a shop: he or she will respond to attention, play and a long walk – like on all other days – with health and well-being. 

Caution, chocolate!

Unfortunately, the danger of eating chocolate for pets is still underestimated. Most chocolates contain theobromine, an ingredient that can be deadly for dogs and cats.

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