The holiday season is here, and everyone is getting their houses ready for friends and family. You are likely decorating your house, maybe bringing in a Christmas tree, poinsettias, and maybe some scented candles. As beautiful and fun as our holiday decorating traditions can be, some can pose risks to your dog’s health. 

At Muttz with Mannerz™ we have a passion for pups and want to help you raise your dog to be safe and a loving part of your family and your community for life.

Here are a few important safety considerations, tricks, and tips so that you and your pets are happy, safe, and have fun during this season.

O Christmas Tree…

Decorating to Keep Your Dog Safe this Holiday Season Tree
Any dog can get tangled up in a tree and potentially topple it over. Consider adding a safety measure by tethering your tree to the ceiling or a wall with hooks and thin wire. Your curious pup or those with big wagging tails will then be safe from having the tree fall on them.

If you have opted for a live tree, we also recommend that you clean up pine needles as they drop to keep your dog from ingesting them. And don’t forget about the water/mixture you are using to keep that tree alive – ensure it is covered so your dog will not think it is another water bowl!

The beautiful lights and needed extension cords are usually thin and not well insulated. To keep your dog safe from a shocking experience consider leaving the tree free of lights on the lower branches. A dog could easily chew through a cord, or even get tangled up if the cords are exposed on the tree or floor.

Here is a great tip – hang bells on the lower branches to alert you if your dog is near the tree.

It is best to avoid hanging any breakable ornaments and keep any of those very special ornaments at the top of the tree. If you have a young pup you may want to keep those ornaments in storage for future years when your dog has matured and has a few holiday seasons under its collar.

Especially be aware of tinsel, yarn, strings, and other items with long strands that pets can chew and swallow and potentially choke on. We strongly suggest choosing alternative decorating options for your tree. If you like a more natural tree and decorate with strings of popcorn and cranberries – make sure to keep these temptations out of reach too.

Oh by gosh by golly – it’s time for Mistletoe and Holly…

Mistletoe and holly are traditional holiday plants. However, they are toxic to dogs. Many do not know that ‘Yew’ is very toxic. It is the evergreen that many people use in their landscaping. We suggest that you avoid bringing yard clippings into your home to use as garland – unless you are 100% certain they are not toxic.

Many people love to have a Poinsettia in their homes for the holidays. It is a common misperception that these plants are very toxic to a dog, however, any plant that dogs ingest can lead to oral irritation, vomiting and/or diarrhea.

The Christmas Candle (and Oils)

Decorating to Keep Your Dog Safe this Holiday Season candles
Candles are very popular in many traditions during this season, including scented candles to add those lovely holiday scents to the air. Be extra vigilant when you have candles burning as your dog can easily tip them over or unknowingly get too close to the flames.

Potpourri oils and scented candles can also be overwhelming for your dog. Consider keeping the use of scents in your home to a more subtle level keeping your dog’s sensitive nose in mind.

These oils can also be dangerous if they are ingested through licking if they get them on their coat or paws. We suggest you consider avoiding these altogether or at least place them up high. You could consider using plug-in room scent products as an alternative but beware, some of those may not be safe for your pet either.

For more holiday tips to keep your pup safe, listen to our latest podcast Episode 19: Holiday Safety for Your Pup

All of us here at Muttz with Mannerz™ wish you and your family a Happy, Healthy Holiday and we look forward to connecting with you in the New Year! To contact us visit our website at