Dogs and Christmas Trees

Tips on  having a Dog Proof Christmas Tree

Most of us love a Christmas tree in our homes: real or fake, tabletop or an 8-foot whopper. However, there are a few precautions you need to take to ensure your seasonal centrepiece becomes a dog-proof Christmas tree and not a Christmas Hazzard.

Christmas time can be quite overwhelming for our pets. There is also the hazard that the Christmas tree and other holiday plants can be quite toxic for our dogs. How harmful these trees and plants depend on the amount that the dog eats, but symptoms can vary from mild to extreme.

Positioning The Christmas Tree

Even a dog that isn’t that interested in your Christmas tree might inadvertently knock a badly positioned tree over as he runs past it. If possible, make sure your tree is in a room that you can close off to your dog when you can’t be there to supervise him. Place the tree in a corner, ideally secured to the wall (or to the ceiling – you can use an invisible fishing line to do this!). If it can be close to a power source to reduce trailing electric cables, so much the better.

Pine Needles and the dangers to dogs

Pine needles can get stuck in unsuspecting paws – or even in a dog’s throat or intestines if they get that far, so if you have a real tree, sweep dropped needles up regularly. The oils from the fir tree can irritate your dog’s stomach and mouth. This will cause either vomiting or drooling, not something you want to be faced with on Christmas morning.

Dogs may also find the water around the Christmas tree irresistible, but unfortunately, it can cause stomach problems, the last thing you’ll want to deal with on Christmas day! Artificial trees don’t drop needles, but if chewed, they can cause all sort of problems for your dog, so keeping it out of reach of your pet is advisable.

Choose the tree ornaments carefully.

If you can, try and avoid anything that may shatter easily if it falls on the floor.  This includes glass and other fragile ornaments.  If you do have some delicate ornaments, then ensure they are fixed very securely to the tree.

However, nowadays, you can get some great shatterproof ornaments to put on the tree, or why not get the kids joining in the spirit of Christmas and take some out of paper – just like when I was a child.  These paper decorations can help to have a dog-proof Christmas tree.

Cables from tree lights

 Dogs and especially puppies, are very curious and inquisitive creatures.  As a result, when they suddenly see bright lights that are possibly dancing appear, they are very likely going to investigate

If you have lights on the tree, make sure they are not on the lower branches.  It is also essential that any cords and cables are stuck down with electrical tape or ideally hidden out the way.  If a dog manages to get hold of them, it could cause an electric shock or burn their mouth.

If you are looking to make your tree dog-friendly and safe, then why not buy as battery-powered lights, which are a much safer option

Have a festive room

Many pet owners have a  festive room’ area.  One idea is to have a puppy playpen.  By using a puppy playpen, this can create a barrier between your dog and the l Christmas tree, so it is harder for your dog to access the tree whilst you are in the room.

 If you are busy around the house or going to leave the dog alone whilst you go shopping, I recommend you shut the door to the room with the Christmas tree.  It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Other tips

Hanging chocolate on the tree is probably inviting disaster. Not only might an eager dog knock the tree over on himself trying to reach tempting treats, but if he actually gets to the chocolate, he could poison himself. Remember too, the other plants you have around your home at Christmas time. Although very decorative, Holly and Mistletoe are poisonous to our pets.

Finally, while you may be able to resist opening the presents till Christmas morning, your dog may not be so restrained – avoid putting the presents under the tree until you are there to supervise – especially if he’s going to be allowed to look for his own dog-friendly Christmas treat in the pile.

Simple when you know-how! A few simple precautions and both your dog and your Christmas tree will enjoy a wonderful Christmas. and a safe Christmas

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