Christmas is a time for family, friends – and furry four-legged friends too! With all the different ways to celebrate the season, decorating your Christmas tree for the holidays is a cherished tradition.
If you’re worried about your Christmas tree being toppled over by an overexcited pup or your decorations being eaten, there are a few things you can do to dog proof your Christmas tree.
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How to Dog Proof Your Christmas Tree
1. Make Sure Your Christmas Tree is Sturdy and Well Anchored.
Make sure your tree is secured in a sturdy stand. You don’t want it falling over at the first wag of a tail or if your dog decides to take a nap underneath it.
If you’re using an artificial tree, look for one with a wide base so it’s less likely to topple over. You can also try filling the base with sand or rocks to weigh it down.
You could try securing it by tying it to the wall or using furniture as support. Just make sure whatever you use is also dog proof!
If you have a real tree, make sure to keep it well watered. A dried-out tree is much more likely to fall over.
For safety, always keep the water covered so your dog can’t get into it. Christmas tree water can be highly toxic to dogs. Many live, fresh-cut Christmas trees are treated with preservatives, pesticides, and fertilizers to help them stay looking their best. These additives make the tree water highly toxic.
You can cover it with foil or cut out a plastic covering. You can also try a citrus scent spray around the base as most pets don’t like citrus smells.
Another tip is to place your tree away from high traffic areas where your dog is likely to run past or play.
2. Avoid Hanging Any Low-Hanging Ornaments.
Keep your dog’s height in mind when hanging decorations. If an ornament is within their reach, there’s a good chance they’ll try to grab it (and possibly knock the whole tree over in the process).
Try hanging your decorations higher up on the tree or opt for larger ornaments that are less likely to be broken if they’re knocked off.
If you have any fragile or sentimental decorations, it might be best to keep them out of reach altogether.
3. Use Dog-Safe Decorations.
There are now a whole range of dog-safe Christmas decorations available, from chew-proof baubles to dog-proof stockings!
Look for ornaments that are shatterproof. This 30-piece Christmas Balls Ornament set is shatterproof, made of durable and eco-friendly plastic ideal for families with kids and pets.
If you’re not sure what decorations are safe for your dog, just ask your vet or local pet shop. I’m sure they would be more than happy to advise you.
4. Be Aware of Electrical Cords.
Electrical cords are a Christmas hazard for both humans and pets. Make sure all of your cords are tucked away and out of reach, so your dog doesn’t accidentally chew through them and electrocute themselves.
If you have any cords running across the floor, try to cover them with something like duct tape or electrician’s tape. This will make them less tempting for your dog to chew on and also help protect them from tripping over them.
5. Avoid Edible Ornaments.
Leave the popcorn and candy canes off the tree! While these may look tempting to your dog, they can be a choking hazard.
While dog-safe edible decorations are available, it’s probably best to avoid them altogether. Not only could your dog choke on them, but they could also attract pests like ants or mice.
If you do want to use edible decorations, make sure they’re out of reach of your dog and that you’re using pet-safe ingredients.
6. Put a Barrier Around Your Tree.
If you’re really worried about your dog knocking over your tree or getting into the decorations, you can put up a barrier around it.
A baby gate or foldable pet gate is a good option, or you could even string up some dog-proof fencing. Just make sure there’s no way your dog can squeeze through any gaps!
7. Train Your Dog to Stay Away from the Tree.
With a little patience and training, you can teach your dog to stay away from the Christmas tree. This is probably the best option if you have a particularly mischievous or curious dog.
Start by teaching your dog to sit and stay. Once they’ve mastered this, put them in a sit or down position and place a treat just out of their reach. Slowly move the treat closer to the tree and give them the command to stay. If they stay put, give them the treat.
With enough practice, your dog will learn that they need to stay away from the Christmas tree in order to get a tasty reward.
8. Don’t Use Metal Hooks.
If you’re hanging any decorations on your tree, avoid using metal hooks. If your dog happens to knock the decoration off, the metal hook could stab them or get caught in their fur.
You can use string or ribbon which could be a much safer option and are just as easy to use.
You can even buy pet-proof Christmas tree hooks that are specifically designed to avoid hurting your dog.
9. Keep Toxic Plants Away from Tree.
Poinsettias, holly, and mistletoe are all common Christmas plants that are poisonous to dogs. If you’re using any of these plants as decorations, make sure they’re well out of reach of your dog.
It’s also a good idea to avoid using real flowers on your tree. Many types of flowers are toxic to dogs, so it’s best to stick with fake ones.
10. Wait to Put Christmas Gifts Under the Tree.
To be festive and get into the Christmas spirit, you’re probably used to putting presents under the tree weeks before Christmas. But if you have a dog, it’s best to wait until closer to the big day.
Dogs are curious creatures, and they might tear open a present or two in their excitement. If you can, put the gifts in a dog-proof container or wait to put them under the tree until Christmas Eve.
By following these simple tips, you can dog-proof your Christmas tree and make sure your furry friend stays safe during the holiday season.
With a little bit of patience and training, you can have a stress-free Christmas that both you and your dog will enjoy!