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Are Christmas Trees Toxic to Dogs?

Are Christmas Trees Toxic to Dogs?

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Christmas trees are a big part of the Christmas holiday, but they can also be dangerous to pets. Are Christmas Trees Toxic to Dogs? Yes! Oils from fir trees can be mildly toxic and cause slight stomach problems and mouth irritations in dogs. Needles on these trees can also be extremely dangerous.

Are Christmas Trees Toxic to Dogs?

If you have pets, please take precautions when decorating your house with a live tree this holiday season while keeping their safety in mind.

Are Christmas Trees Toxic to Dogs?


Keep the tree out of reach. You can use a table or something with some height to keep your dog away from the tree, but make sure they’re still close enough for you to monitor them. If you have other pets in the house that may climb up on things, be careful!

Use tinsel sparingly. Tinsel is a small piece of metal wire that hangs from a Christmas tree and doesn’t seem like it would be dangerous. Unfortunately, your dog can chew tinsel into pieces that are small enough to swallow which will then cause them to choke or suffocate on the metal wire.

If you know your pet is going near the tree try using a bitter apple spray. This can discourage your pet from going near the tree and also taste unpleasant.

Finally, double-check for any packages under your tree on Christmas morning! If you have small children or other pets making sure there’s nothing around that could be harmful to them is always a good idea.

It’s exciting to pull out the Christmas ornaments and lights to decorate the tree, but it is also a time to take our dog’s safety into consideration.

Other Pet Safety Problems We've Encountered During Christmas

Other Pet Safety Problems We’ve Encountered During Christmas

Trial and error have taught us some of the pitfalls of pets and Christmas trees over the years. The Christmas tree was knocked over every year until my father built a plywood base that cannot be tipped. Electrical cords have been chewed to shreds. Thankfully, no dogs have been shocked, but we’ve been through countless sets of Christmas lights.

Whether your tree is artificial or real, there are holiday-specific dangers to your pets. Keep this in mind as you set up your Christmas tree and put out your decorations. All of your Christmas decorations are not pet safe.

Keep Your Dog From Toppling Your Christmas Tree

Whether your dog is a puppy or has been with your family for a number of years, Christmas is a time of curiosity. Expect your dog to sniff out your tree, at the least. Our Golden Retriever loves to carry sticks in her mouth; some of them do not qualify as a stick but as entire tree limbs.

Keeping your tree from toppling over is a little trickier than you might think. One year, my father built a plywood base to keep it upright and prevent the dog from knocking it down. Another option is finding something sturdy that can serve as a barrier between your pet and the tree-like furniture or an ottoman with some height to it.

For a more visual representation of how you can keep your dog from toppling the tree, check out this video:

Another way to ensure your dog stays away from the Christmas tree and the gifts is to block off the room where you place the tree. Baby gates and dog gates work well for this. Large, free-standing dog gates are available if you can’t block the dog out of an entire room. You can effectively block an area from the dog.

Decorate Your Christmas Tree With Dog-Safe Ornaments

Pay close attention to ornaments, decorations, and cords that can become chew toys for your dog. Tinsel is attractive. It is also messy and a choking hazard for your pet.

All ornaments are subject to becoming your dog’s chew toy. Try to avoid glass ornaments and ornaments made with small beads that can easily break. Do not hang ornaments on lower branches where they can be easily reached by dogs.

Decorate Your Christmas Tree With Dog-Safe Ornaments

Think twice about any ornaments that look like their favorite toys! Balls, stuffies, even that fun flying disc! What is to stop them from going after something that they think is actually theirs?

Bundle Electrical Christmas Light Cords And Keep Them Hidden From Pets

Safety with electrical cords is something that dog owners deal with all the time. Christmas lights add to the plethora of cords your dog can chew on. Try to bundle electrical cords and keep them hidden behind the Christmas tree or furniture to keep them out of reach of your dogs.

Christmas Stockings Are Part Of Dog Safety During Christmas

Christmas stockings are filled with small toys that can be ingested by dogs. Stockings are also filled with candy, including chocolate, which is not healthy for dogs. It is best to keep stockings hung high where your dog cannot access them.

If you don’t have a chimney, consider hanging stockings along a banister or create a decorative hanger or alternate them on a ribbon hanging in the corner.

Christmas Stockings Are Part Of Dog Safety During Christmas

Enjoy your Christmas holiday and pay special attention to keeping things safe for your dog.

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