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Nathalie Sari - Tiertraining & Verhaltensberatung

This article was written by TOBALIE in cooperation with Nathalie Sari - Tiertraining & Verhaltensberatung

“It`s beginning to look a lot like Christmas”, already in christmas mood? Already in the décor- and gift mood? Every year we enjoy the beautiful lights, the scented cookies and the great packages under the decorated christmas tree. However, as a dog or cat owner special care is required in this contemplative time. The delicious chocolate cookies, the shimmering tinsel, the burning candles and much more can become quite a danger for your beloved pet. What you should watch out for and where possible dangers lurk, you can read in this article.  

Animal-friendly christmas decoration instead of danger

A festively decorated home underlines our anticipation of 24 December and contributes to a contemplative atmosphere. There are many animal-friendly alternatives to make your home cosy and relaxed:

  • Christmas tree: Caucasian firs are the most popular christmas trees, since fir needles contain ingredients that can lead to poisoning symptoms, the choice of a blue spruce is better. This spruce stings more and keeps the curious noses away. Buy a natural tree that has not been sprayed.
    Fasten it to the wall with a string so that motivated “tree climbers” cannot knock it over.
  • Tree stands: Many trees are placed in specially made stands, which are filled with water to keep the tree longer fresh. This water is poisonous for our animals. Alternatively, spray the tree with water and keep the room cool. Choose a stand filled with sand, which allows a stable stand.
  • Candles: Open fire can always be dangerous. Real candles on the christmas tree are beautiful, but in the exuberant game your animal can knock over the tree and burn itself easily.
    Candles should always be placed at a safe distance and have a fire- extinguisher ready, as dry trees can quickly catch fire. It’s best to switch to LED- candles, which you can even reuse every year.
  • Light chains: Especially easily accessible light chains could motivate to nibble at them. Electrocution is dangerous, so be careful not to stow cables or use cordless light chains.
  • Tinsel and co: Our curious roommates are magically attracted by the colorful, glittering threads. Once swallowed, the threads can wrap themselves around the stomach and intestines and become a health hazard. Your darling could also get tangled up in it. Gift ribbons should also be avoided. Please avoid all these threads and do something good for the environment.
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  • Tree decoration: Especially small parts could be swallowed and close the respiratory tract or the gastrointestinal tract. Christmas tree balls and glass parts could fall down, shatter and cause injuries. Metal hooks can also become a danger, so hang your jewellery better on strings. Chocolate umbrellas and edible decoration are better to avoid for the sweet tooths. Your tree decoration should consist of untreated natural materials, such as wood, salt dough, etc..
    Important: Only apply the decoration to the upper part of the tree, where there is less danger of your animal accidentally knocking it down or playing with it.
  • Plants: The popular poinsettia for example or mistletoes should be taboo for a pet household. You can find more poisonous plants here: poisonous plants. Visitors should bring homemade cookies or decorations with them.
  • Packaging: The paper is often treated with harmful substances. Use ecological materials for packaging, avoid plastic, glitter and cords. Even environmentally friendly packaging looks beautiful, there are no limits to your imagination. 
  • Artificial snow: Even the popular artificial snow, which is mainly sprayed onto windows, contains toxic and irritating ingredients. Better stick on window pictures.
  • Christmas fragrances: Here, what smells pleasant for you can smell quite unpleasant for your pet. Essential oils in particular can irritate your friend’s fine senses. Avoid incense sticks, scented candles and the like. 
  • Biscuits and Co: Christmas cookies often hide poisonous ingredients for your pet. Do not leave cookies and co. open, but keep them in lockable containers. In any case, the christmas roast should be taboo for your dog or cat. These are often much too strongly seasoned and absolutely not animal-friendly. Try your hand as an animal cookie baker or buy species-appropriate biscuits e.g. in the online shop.

Extra tips for particularly playful pets

  • Restrict the festive decorations to one room, which you close when your darling is unattended.
  • Gifts should not be placed under the tree too soon. Especially curious animals might try to unpack the gifts before they are given and the surprise effect is gone.
Kitten sitzt in Weihnachtsmütze


In order for christmas eve and the pre-christmas period to remain contemplative, pet owners should pay attention to a few things. Fortunately, there are many alternatives to decorate your household in an animal-friendly way. TOBALIE wishes you lots of fun decorating and a wonderful christmas party.