Dogs and Christmas Trees | Safety Tips for Pets

Dogs and Christmas Trees – Holiday Safety Tips for Pets!

With the holidays now in full swing, we wanted to give you the low-down on dogs and Christmas trees. We know the holidays are meant to be a joyous time where you spend time with your loved ones and appreciate one another. However, it is important to keep holiday pet safety at the forefront of your mind. After all, there is A LOT going on during the holiday season. It’s easy to be a bit careless. Here are some great holiday safety tips for pets:

Do your best to keep ornaments out of reach!

Dogs and Christmas trees
Dogs and Christmas trees

Thousands of dogs are severely injured every year due to Christmas tree ornaments. Our lovable pups don’t really know better and see that low-hanging, shiny object as a wonderful treat. One easy thing you can do is to make sure your Christmas ornaments aren’t within reach of your dog.

Now, we know this isn’t always possible. So another thing you can do is spray some bitter apple spray onto the low-hanging ornaments. Most bitter apple spray is pet-safe and material safe, meaning it won’t hurt your Christmas ornaments!

Secure your Christmas tree!

I’ll never forget the look on my mother’s face when she came home to our Christmas tree laying on the ground and dozens of grandma’s old ornaments smashed. It was heartbreaking seeing her so upset that her cherished childhood ornaments were now destroyed and irreparable beyond repair. Thankfully we were still crate training our dog, so our puppy didn’t get hurt!

Make sure your tree is securely in its stand. Another thing that we do is secure the top of the tree with fishing wire and string it to the wall. You can barely see the fishing wire and we sleep safe at night knowing that our Christmas tree is secure. When you’re not home, it may be a good idea to get a dog playpen.

Don’t let them drink the tree water!

It’s just water. What can be the harm? Well, the water that resides at the base of your Christmas tree can be a breeding ground for very harmful bacteria. The side effects of this can be vomiting, diarrhea, and upset stomach.

Dissuade your pet from going to drink the water in the bottom of the Christmas tree. One way to avoid this is to only water your Christmas tree when your dog is not going to have access to it, such as when they’re in their dog crate or sleeping in their dog bed.

Holly and Mistletoe is very bad for dogs!

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Holly looks great on the mantle, surrounding the stockings. Mistletoe is a great addition to any doorway in the home. Heck, we know dogs and Christmas trees get along, but what about these other 2 common Christmas plants?

Holly and mistletoe are very, very bad for dogs! Mistletoe has the potential to cause gastrointestinal problems. It also increases the chance of cardiovascular problems.

Holly can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea.

This isn’t just applicable to dogs. The same problems can be caused in cats, and many other domestic pets. Remember, holiday pet safety is very important!

Shiny things aren’t always fun things!

Dogs love tinsel. I don’t blame them. What isn’t to love about it? It’s shiny, fun, and makes your Christmas tree look great!

Well, tinsel can block your dog’s digestive track. When that happens, it’s difficult for your dog to properly hydrate and digest food. Your dog could even be required to have surgery!

Dogs and Christmas trees get along. Dogs and tinsel do not get along.

Don’t leave fire unattended!

This one is just a great life tip, in addition to being a great holiday safety tip for pets: Do not leave any fire unattended. Candles can easily be knocked over by a curious pet or just by a passing pet with a very waggy tail!

Tire your pet before you party!

If you’re going to be having people over for a holiday party, it’s a good idea to exercise your pet beforehand. Remember, as we told you in our crate training tips, a tired dog is a well-behaved dog!

It’s also a great idea to dedicate a space to where your pet can go and be alone during the party. Pets that aren’t very socialized can freak out during large gatherings at their home. They’re not used to so many people being in their space at one time! Giving them their own room is a great way to help calm them.

No table scraps!

Try not to feed your dog table scraps. More importantly, try not to let your guests feed your dog table scraps.

Human food is generally very bad for dogs. Human food is very sweet, fatty, and spicy – all of which aren’t ideal for dogs. There’s a reason that dog food is specifically formulated for dogs!

When your guests arrive, politely ask them not to feed your dog any human food. Also have them alert you if your dog is excessively begging for human food. At the point it may be a great idea for you to remove your dog from the situation.

Give them some great high quality dog treats instead!

Dogs and Christmas Trees are fine!

Cats Dogs and Christmas trees
Cats Dogs and Christmas trees

Dogs and Christmas trees are fine. You don’t have to worry about your dog eating the pine off of your Christmas tree. Dogs don’t really like the taste. They’re more inclined to eat what’s on the Christmas tree!

Still, if you do see your dog eating the Christmas tree, you’re going to want to dissuade that type of behavior. Reward your dog when they sniff the tree, before they’re about to bite it. If they eat the tree, distract them and have them do something else. Next time they go to the tree, reward them before they eat it!


Enjoy the holidays but remember to exercise proper holiday pet safety. We hope you enjoyed these holiday safety tips for pets. If you cannot keep an eye on your pet during all the chaos of your holiday party, you may want to get them a dog playpen.

Laura Norwood
Laura Norwood
The ultimate founder and enthusiast who investigates every piece of pet news.




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