The Christmas Tree – Having a Christmas tree in the home is one of the biggest and well-known Christmas and Yule traditions. And you’d be hard pressed to find a dog out there who doesn’t like a good tree! Some pet owners will be lucky enough to own a pup that’s unphased by this new addition, but if you have a dog that just can’t resist, you’ll need a dog-proof Christmas tree.
Keep the water stand covered. Pine sap mixed with water makes a poisonous drink for your pet. The smell of a live or artificial tree may cause your pet to urine-mark it. It may help to bring the tree into an isolated indoor room for a day or two, so that it smells more like “home.” Using a dog gate or crate to keep your pet away from trouble areas (when he or she can't be monitored) is also a safe idea.
Secure Christmas trees to a wall or ceiling hook with sturdy fishing line. This will help prevent the tree from toppling over should your dog jump on it or accidentally knock it over. If you have Christmas presents for your dog, keep them separate from your families to keep sniffing pets away from the tree.
Tree & Fairy Lights – What’s a tree without lights? A dull tree, but there are risks that come with twinkly electric lights! They may look harmless, but some dogs think of the wires as shiny new chew toys – which is most common with younger dogs or puppies. Also, if you have a particularly boisterous pup that likes to play, they may get tangled up in the wires.
An easy way to prevent your dog getting hurt by your Christmas tree lights is to cable tie any lose wires and then always disconnect from the mains when you go out. Alternatively, if you want to leave your lights on all the time, opt for battery operated ones instead and make sure that you place the battery pack in a place your dog can’t reach.
Other Tree Decorations – First off, the bat, let’s talk tree chocolates. Depending on where you’re from, and your penchant for sweets, chocolate tree ornaments might be a fun and popular addition. But, as dog owners, chocolate on your tree should really be a no-brainer No-No! Chocolate is toxic to dogs, so should not be anywhere near your tree this season. Even if you’re tempted to put them higher up, higher than your sog can reach, there is the risk of them falling down and being eaten. Best to steer clear altogether!
Another way to dog-proof Christmas trees is to make sure you’re only buying safe decorations. Avoid tinsel and angel hair on your tree. Tinsel is long and sparkly, a real temptation for a chewy puppy or curious pooch, if ingested they could cause an obstruction or toxic your dog, depending on what it’s made of. The same goes for Angel Hair.
Glass baubles are also a bad idea if you have a boisterous dog, as they may shatter which could potentially harm your pet. Instead opt for non-toxic plastic decorations.
If you have more expensive ornaments which are essential decorations for your tree, place them near the top of the tree where your dog and their wagging tail can’t reach them.
Tempting Christmas Presents - If you’re planning on buy, wrapping up and giving your pooch a gift this Christmas, it’s best to safer than sorry! Dogs like to chew things, especially new and interesting looking and smelling things.
Where a Christmas tree surrounded by wrapped presents with bows on top may be a wondrous sight, it may prove too great a temptation for your dog. Keep presents out of sight until the day, then always make sure your dog’s supervised with them – otherwise they may help themselves to a gift or two!
Never put your dog’s Christmas presents under the tree either, they might be able to sniff out their treats and help themselves!
Christmas Foods – We spend a lot of time telling you all about toxic and dangerous foods for dogs, but for good reason! Especially as it’s the Festive season, one massive thing about celebrations is food. And there is a lot of Christmas food & drinks that your dog should not be sampling.
There’s lots of Christmas foods that are toxic or poisonous to dogs, including choloclate, grapes, sultanas and raisins (present in Christmas puddings and mince pies). A lot of dog owners think feeding them a bit of chicken or turkey is a nice gift, but these scraps can contain tiny bones which are dangerous – always check the meat thoroughly before feeding to your dog.
If you want to give your dog their own Christmas dinner, check out our vlog!
Festive Flowers - Festive plants and flowers look stunning in our homes, but unfortunately a lot of these plants are toxic to dogs. Poinsettia which is used in many wreaths and arrangements can cause stomach and mouth irritation, while holly and European mistletoe berries are also toxic and can cause stomach upset.
American mistletoe on the other hand is highly poisonous. Additionally, ivy which is commonly used in wreaths can cause sickness and skin irritation like contact dermatitis.