All pet owners fear the day that their carefully decorated Christmas tree is bulldozed by a curious pet. No need to be a Scrooge. Check out these simple tips on how to keep a dog away from the Christmas tree this year.
You spend hours decorating for the holidays, or worse, you forgo decoration entirely because of a playful, but mischievous pupper. Good news! We can help you take back your festive decorating passions and keep your pet out of harm’s way.
10 Tips for keeping your dog and your Christmas tree safe
Stealing presents, chewing on ornaments, and tearing down trees. These are just a few common fears that we pet owners fear when mixing our pets with the holidays. Your dog might seem like a Grinch, but they’re just exploring your festive display in the only way they know-how.
Don’t get mad, get smart with these creative pet Christmas tree decorations, pet-proofing pointers.
1. Build a wall
Use gates, exercise pens, or even larger presents to wall off your tree.
Using an exercise pen, a baby gate, or anything else fence like, keep dog away from Christmas tree. This barrier will keep your pets from climbing up, bumping into, and getting underneath your tree.
It may not be the most visually appealing solution, but for nosey pets, it may be the safest solution.
For smaller dogs, you may even be able to get away with making a wall out of heavier or larger presents. Make sure that the gifts are not filled with food products or anything that your dog may want to open early.
2. Tree in Shining Armour
Make a Tinfoil tree skirt to deter pets.
Aluminum foil is a universally hated texture and sound to both dogs and cats. Make yourself a tin foil tree skirt, or an aluminum moat to protect your tree. This could help to deter your pets from venturing too close to the tree.
The sound may also make a good alarm system for those pets brave enough to walk across it. Make sure that your dog isn’t trying to nibble on Tinfoil. It could damage their mouths and should never be ingested.
3. Choose the Right Decorations
Avoid using fragile decorations and food items to reduce temptations.
Some decorations are more pet-safe than others. Avoid fragile pet Christmas tree decorations that can be hazardous to your pet. Glass and ceramic ornaments are likely to shatter if they hit the floor, so opt for plastic instead.
Edible decorations can also be an issue. Chocolate is toxic to dogs and cats, as are many artificial sweeteners used in candy. This means no candy canes either.
Popcorn garlands are another popular Christmas tradition. It may look cute, but using any kind of food on your tree will only encourage your pet to explore. It’s best to avoid them all.
4. Fortify your Tree Base
Weigh down your base to prevent your tree from tipping.
To prevent your tree from tipping, if your pet, or kids, were to climb or push on it, make sure that you have a sturdy foundation to keep your tree standing. Most tree bases aren’t designed to fend off pet attacks, so weighing down your base will make it more secure.
Add weight over the legs of the tree stand and cover with your tree skirt, Tinfoil, or otherwise.
Fake trees are less sturdy than a real trees, so a heavy base may not be enough to keep it vertical. This next step can help with that.
5. Drop Anchor
Anchor your tree to the walls or ceiling for extra support.
This may take some MacGyvering, but you can use a fishing line, chain, or wire to secure your tree to the wall or ceiling. We recommend two points of contact if you are anchoring to the wall.
This type of home renovation may not be for everyone, but it may be the price you have to pay to have your Christmas last the season.
6. Pet-Proof your Ornaments
Use twist ties or string to firmly secure your decorations to your tree.
Make sure your ornaments can’t be knocked off of your tree by securing them with twist ties, zip ties or string. This won’t guarantee that your pup won’t go after them, but they are much less likely to get taken out by a drive-by tail swipe if they’re stuck on the tree.
7. Hide Your Cords, Hide your Wires, They’re Chewing Everything
Tape down cords to prevent electrocution risks.
The cords from your lights, tree, and power bars should be tucked away and hidden. Many small cords can simply tuck in between the carpet and the baseboards.
For those that can’t, use tape to prevent the cords from being chewed or tripped on. Try to cover them with your tree skirt to remove the temptation of your inquisitive pet.
8. Real Trees = Real Danger
Needles from real trees can be dangerous. Consider a fake tree instead.
Having a real Christmas tree may not be as popular as it once was. However, tradition is still important to many. We’re not saying don’t, but you will need to be more vigilant.
Fallen needles will need to be cleaned up frequently to prevent your dog from getting injured. If your pet were to start munching on the pointy needle, they could harm their mouth or digestive system.
9. Pet Deterrents
Use a pet deterrent spray or try dabbing hot sauce near the base of your tree
Deterrent sprays for pets may be effective for discouraging your pet from getting to close the tree. Most have an extremely bitter taste, so your pet will only need one lick to realize how awful it is.
Cat’s may not be as easily swayed by the bitterness, so something with a stronger smell may be needed. Natural options like orange peels or hot sauce can be more effective.
Be cautious to not put hot sauce in areas where you, your family, or your pet can accidentally get it in their eyes. It's best used at floor level. If you are nervous about that one, then stick to the orange peels.
10. Set a Trap
Set a trap with bells to alert you when the tree is approached.
Catch your pet in the act with a Home Alone-style trap. Set up some bells on a string around the bottom of your tree to let you know when trouble is brewing.
This will allow you to stop them before they get hurt, take them to another area of the house, or provide a more appropriate activity.
Did any of our tips prevent holiday decorating disasters in your home? Share your tip with us in the comments below!
Looking for some great gift to put under your Christmas tree? Check out these lists of our favourite dog and cat Christmas gifts:
Want even more gift ideas? We have you covered!