"Pets are involved in an alarming number of accidents, from chewing on electrical cords to knocking over trees or eating toxic decorations or plants," Adam Goldfarb, director of pet care issues for the Humane Society of the United States, says in a statement.
One in five Americans has experienced a family pet being injured by a holiday decoration, indicates a survey of 1,000 U.S. adults by Leger Marketing on behalf of CSA International, a testing and certification organization.
CSA International suggests:
-- Carefully inspect holiday light strings yearly and discard any with frayed cords, cracked holders or loose connections.
-- Tethering the Christmas tree to a wall or the ceiling to avoid tipping by a pet or child.
-- Place breakable ornaments and electrical decorations up high to help protect both pets and small children.
-- Keep chocolate, poinsettias, tinsel, ribbons, and colorful, breakable ornaments that may look like a ball or toy away from pets and children. Ingested string, plastic and wrapping paper can lead to intestinal blockage and require a trip to the veterinarian.
-- Never leave candles unattended, pets may burn themselves or cause a fire.
-- After the holidays, wrap and store lights and decorations in their original packaging, because they likely contain manufacturer's instructions on replacement bulbs and details for proper product use.