Ten top tips to dog-proof your Christmas tree

a dog watching their owner decorate their Christmas tree

Christmas is a time to deck the halls and fill them with joy, decorations, and the iconic tree. However, if you share your home with a dog, you might find yourself facing the challenge of protecting your festive ornaments from your curious canine. 
Luckily, with a bit of planning, you can ensure that your Christmas tree is still standing on the big day. 

Secure the base of the tree

Start by ensuring that your Christmas tree is secured at the base. It’s worth investing in a quality, weighted stand to help prevent accidents and keep your tree upright. You can also securely anchor your tree to the ceiling or wall, by using some string and a hook! 

Try using pet-friendly ornaments 

Consider using pet-friendly ornaments that are made of non-breakable materials, such as wood or plastic. While these can still be chewed on, they can help minimise the risk of breaking, like fragile glass baubles, and also reduce the chances of injury if your dog does decide to investigate them. 

Try to avoid using ornaments that resemble toys, too, as this can confuse your dog and just add to their temptation.

Remember: Don’t leave your dog unattended around Christmas ornaments and baubles, just in case! 

Keep breakable ornaments out of reach

If you have sentimental or fragile ornaments that you'd still like to showcase at Christmas, try placing them higher on the tree or up on shelves. This not only protects your precious decorations, but also prevents your dog from getting hurt or ingesting sharp pieces if they were to break something. 

No food on the tree 

You might be planning to place some chocolate ornaments, candy canes, or other edibles on your tree, but these can be a toxic temptation for our dogs. Chocolate is among the most dangerous foods for our canine companions, so they should be completely out of reach this Christmas. 

Use a tree skirt

A tree skirt not only adds a decorative touch, but it can also act as a barrier between your dog and the lower branches of the tree and the water at the base. Choose a sturdy, non-toxic tree skirt that complements your theme!

Top tip: Kitchen foil can be a great deterrent.

Secure any electrical cables

Christmas lights can be fascinating to dogs, but chewing on electrical cables, wires, or plugs can pose a serious threat to our canine companions. Use cable tidies or protective covers to secure any exposed wires and keep them away from bored mouths or teething gums. 

Top tip: If you use lights on your tree, keep the bottom branches bare so that your dog can’t reach any cables.

Supervise your dog around the tree

Keep a close eye on your dog when they are in the same room as the Christmas tree, especially if it’s a new addition to their environment. This will allow you to distract them with something they’re allowed to chew on, keeping your tree and your pooch safe and sound. 

Create a distraction

Provide your dog with an alternative source of entertainment to distract them from the tree, its ornaments, and whatever gifts lie beneath it. Interactive toys and treats or some playtime with a family member can help redirect their attention, hopefully reducing the likelihood of unwanted tree interactions.

Keep your presents safe

If your pooch is more interested in what’s under the tree and not what’s on it, it might be worth keeping your gifts somewhere else (in cupboards, wardrobes, drawers, or under the bed, etc.) until Christmas Eve. This way, they’ll be safe next to Santa’s pile on the big day! 

Fortify your Christmas tree

If your dog can’t be trusted around the tree, you can use baby gates, exercise pens, or even fire guards to keep your curious canine away from the tempting branches. We know it might not look as nice, but it may be the safest option for nosey pets.

Remember: Make sure your makeshift dog fence is secured to a wall, to prevent any falls and injuries! 

While protecting your Christmas tree may require a bit of planning, and some adjustments to your usual traditions, it can help create a safe festive environment for your dog – and a hazard free holiday for all. Merry Christmas! 

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