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How To Keep Your Christmas Tree Alive With Dogs In The House

Decorating a Christmas tree is a beautiful holiday tradition, but for some dogs a Christmas tree can seem like a fancy new toy. From knocking ornaments off with a perfectly timed tail wag to accidentally toppling the whole tree over, it can seem like a daunting task to keep a tree standing upright and presentable for the entire holiday season. Luckily, we’ve rounded up 9 tips to help you dog proof your tree.

Make Sure It’s Secure

The easiest way for a dog to destroy a Christmas tree is knocking it down. Use a wide base to help give the tree balance. If possible, secure your tree to the wall or ceiling with fishing line for extra protection. 

Choose Your Ornaments Wisely

Shiny ornaments and tinsel are meant to be eye-catching, but they might catch some unwanted attention from your pup. Go for a more minimalistic approach when it comes to your tree trimmings. 

When it comes to ornaments, choose plastic over glass. Glass ornaments have a higher chance of shattering when knocked off. Not only will you be upset because you’re down an ornament, but the broken pieces can cause your dog serious injuries if they are stepped on or ingested. 

For added protection, use twine or twist ties in place of traditional ornament hooks to help them stay firmly on your tree.

Lay Off the Snacks

Dried orange slices, candy canes, gingerbread, and popcorn garlands might look darling, but they’re also guaranteed to activate your pup’s sniffer. To avoid tempting your pet with these tasty trimmings, we recommend skipping any food-related decor. 

Location, Location, Location

The perfect space for your tree might not always be your first pick. If you don’t trust your pup to be home alone with your tree, consider putting it in a room that can be closed off when you’re away. 

If your tree is in an open space, surrounding it with a baby gate will help create a barrier to prevent your dog from jumping on, running into, or hiding under the tree. 

Have a Trial Run

If it’s your dog’s first Christmas, they might be confused about why there’s suddenly a tree inside the house. Give your pup time to adjust by leaving the tree up for a few days before adding decorations. 

Create an Alarm

Be alerted when your dog is getting a little too close to the tree by creating a simple alarm system. It’s as easy as placing crinkled up tin foil under your tree skirt. If your dog steps on it, you’ll be alerted by the noise and can quickly shoo them away.  

Hide Your Cords

String lights add a special twinkle to your tree, but they can be a health hazard for your dog. Your dog can get tangled up, choke themselves, or electrocute themselves if they bite the wire. Consider skipping the lights, but if you do add them be sure to secure any loose cords by either taping them down or by hiding them behind furniture or other large decorations. 

Watch Out for Toxic Plants

Pine needles aren’t highly toxic for dogs, but because of their size and shape they can cause internal injuries if ingested. It’s also important to keep an eye out for other potentially toxic holiday plants such as holly.

While artificial trees don’t drop pine needles, pieces of plastic or metal can still fall off, especially for older models that have become more brittle. These small pieces can also be a choking hazard and cause internal problems if swallowed. 

Pine needles aren’t the only thing to worry about! Keep your dog out of the water at the base of your tree as it could include toxic chemicals.

Hide Your Presents

It might be tempting to display your nicely wrapped presents under the tree before Christmas morning, but if you’ve got a curious pup consider only bringing out the presents when you’re ready to open them.

Help Them Relax

The holidays can be stressful for you and your pup. If your dog is feeling uneasy about your Christmas tree and all the other stressors that come with the holidays, help calm them down with a Chillout Bite


The holidays are a special time for you and your four-legged friends. By following these Christmas tree safety tips you can help keep your holiday season merry and bright!

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