Christmas trees are beautiful, but not everything adorning your tree is safe for or around your pets. Here are some decorations you may want to avoid so that you don’t wind up visiting the emergency vet this holiday season.

Tinsel can be dangerous to cats. Cats are known to swallow strands of tinsel, which can often become caught within the stomach and intestines. This linear foreign body can cause damage to the intestines, and can even cut through the intestinal wall, ultimately requiring surgery. Symptoms of a cat with a foreign body include lethargy, refusing to eat, and vomiting.

Ornaments made of dough, a common craft project for young children, pose a somewhat surprising danger to pets. Made with salt, water, and flour, these ornaments can cause salt toxicity in dogs who ingest them. Salt poisoning in dogs and cats may result in vomiting, diarrhea, inappetance, lethargy, and excessive thirst or urination. If untreated, it can cause potential injury to the kidneys, tremors, and seizures. If you’re planning to craft decorations with your children this year, consider using clay instead.

Low-hanging ornaments can be very tempting for both cats and dogs to want to bat around. Make sure that ornaments made of glass and other fragile materials are placed high up the tree to avoid being knocked to the floor.

Candles, whether part of a menorah or an advent wreath, are often lit at this time of year. Supervise your pets any time they are in the same room with a lit candle. Wagging tails can easily find themselves too close to an open flame. Candles might also be inadvertently knocked over, which can both harm your pet and cause serious damage to your home.

We wish you all a safe and happy holiday!