JOPLIN, Mo. — The Joplin Humane Society is warning families to be cautious before you deck the halls.

The shelter says decorations like tinsel and glass ornaments can be dangerous if pets ingest them.

If animals swallow tinsel it can cause a bowel obstruction that could need surgery.

The shelter recommends hiding any cords under rugs or covering them with a cord protector so pets don’t chew through it.

The humane society also suggests buying an artificial tree.

“Live trees are going to potentially be exposed to pesticides. They also will be exposed to other animals outdoors, which could not only possibly spread diseases to your animals. But it will be more tempting to animals. They are going to want to go check out all those smells on your Christmas tree,” said Thomas Jay, Animal Behavior Manager Joplin Humane Society.

He says if you think your pet ingested any decorations take them to a vet immediately.