Holiday decorations can be attractive to a playful pet. Remember, pets are curious and these decorations are something new in their environment. Most pets will want to check out the new items by smelling, touching or tasting them.
Cats seem particularly attracted to shiny, mobile decorations such as tinsel, ribbons and strings. Cats playing with these decorations can get them caught on their tongue and end up swallowing them.
These linear foreign bodies can require emergency surgery to remove them. Sometimes, the damage to the intestines is fatal. If your cat has swallowed a string, you may see vomiting, straining to have a bowel movement, loss of appetite or lethargy and you should call your veterinarian immediately.
Glass ornaments can shatter easily, causing injuries to foot pads and skin. Foot pads tend to bleed a lot. Dogs have also been known to eat glass ornaments. Broken glass can cause severe intestinal damage if swallowed.
If an ornament breaks, you may want to take a moment to remove curious pets from the area and confine them to a safe place before you start the clean up.
The best way to prevent these problems is to avoid using these types of decorations in areas of the home where your pets (or visiting pets) can access them. At the very least, any pets should be supervised when they are around holiday décor.