If you are a dog owner, then you know that canines seem to be somehow naturally drawn to the allure of Christmas trees. Keeping your pet away from this key piece of holiday décor might not be such an easy task. However, it's extremely important to learn how to keep dog away from Christmas tree in order to keep your pet safe during the holiday season.
Did you know that a Christmas tree can be both potentially dangerous for your dog and potentially messy and stressful for you?
There are a number of reasons why getting into a Christmas tree could be dangerous for your dog. The good news is, there are also a number of ways that you can keep Fido from attacking your tree.
From proper training to pet gates, I'll teach you how to keep dog away from Christmas tree and other decorations in this article. I'll explain the dangers of these decorations and why it's important to keep your pup away.
How to Keep Dog Away from Christmas Tree
Why Are Christmas Trees Dangerous for Dogs?
If you are wondering what is the big deal and why should you go through so much trouble to learn how to keep dog away from Christmas tree, the answer lies in many potential dangers for your dog related to Christmas trees. Not to mention, I'm sure you'd like to keep your Christmas tree standing upright.
For specific information about the dangers of trees, check out our article that answers the questions Are Christmas Trees Poisonous to Dogs?
Learning how to keep dog away from Christmas tree is more than just putting up a pet gate around your beautiful decoration. You need to keep Fido away from all aspects of the tree, including the ornaments, needles and the Christmas tree water. Here's what you to know when learning how to keep dog away from Christmas tree:
You should make sure that your dog doesn’t get his mouth close to the fallen Christmas tree needles. If he chews on them or swallows them he can be in a grave danger since they are not digestible and are mildly toxic. The degree of problems that can ensue depends on your dog’s size and on the number of needles that he ingested.
The oils that are found in fir tree needles can irritate his stomach and his mouth and cause excessive drooling and vomiting, which can present a real danger to the puncture of his gastrointestinal tract. Call your vet immediately if you know that your dog has ingested some of the needles from your Christmas tree or if you see some of these alarming signs.
2. Artificial trees
If your Christmas tree is artificial, then you have to be even more careful, especially since it can become more brittle as it gets older. It often happens that small pieces of aluminum or plastic break off the tree and if they get swallowed by your dog, they can cause an intestinal blockage. At the best case, they will cause a slight mouth irritation.
Tree water, which is meant to keep your Christmas tree fresh, can poison your dog. It is full of pesticides, fertilizers, preservatives and other agents like aspirin, for example. In order to keep your dog safe and make sure that he won’t drink the tree water if he is thirsty, use a covered tree water dish.
4. Ornaments and Gifts
Ornaments can really be a hazard for your dog, especially if you use edible ones which can attract your dog and make him try to get to them. He can knock the tree over in his attempts and injure himself. In addition to avoiding edible ornaments, you should also avoid glass holiday ornaments.
They can get broken and cut your dog’s paws at the very least. If he somehow manages to eat them, they can cause serious intestinal blockage or even cut his intestines and cause serious injury. Also, some ornaments can even be deadly for your dog since there are ornaments that are made from dangerous chemicals.
Also, keep the area around your tree clean and free of any discarded string, small toys or ribbon. These things can cause a bowel obstruction if they get swallowed, and they also present a choking hazard, especially small toys or small pieces of toys.
Avoid trimming your Christmas with tinsel. If your dog swallows tinsel it can lead to blocked intestines which can cause diarrhea, vomiting, decreased appetite and weight loss. Also, surgery might be necessary, and often is, in order to remove the tinsel from your dog’s stomach.
Lights can also be dangerous for your dog, so try not to string the bottom of your Christmas tree with lights since some of them can get extremely hot and burn your dog. Try to tape the cords as firmly as possible to the wall or floor and regularly check on them to see if there are any chew marks. If your dog starts chewing on cords or lights he can receive serious mouth burns or even some light electric shocks. Also, your dog might even get pulmonary edema which can be lethal by chewing on a wire.
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Awareness and Prevention
Age, temperament and the energy level of your dog will all determine how much trouble he can cause, as well as his size since larger dogs can easily tip over the tree.
Preventing your dog from getting close to the Christmas tree is the key. If possible, you should put your Christmas tree in a room you can close and isolate from the rest of the house. Another good way to deal with your dog’s advances toward the Christmas tree is to install a baby gate in the doorway.
Even if you have a well-behaved dog, that is no guarantee that he won’t give in to the temptation called Christmas tree, so prevention is usually necessary.
That way your dog won’t be able to enter the room. Similar solution is putting a low-lattice fencing around the tree. That way your dog will be able to look at the tree, but he won’t be able to knock it over. When you are not at home or you are not able to supervise your dog, confine him to his crate or a separate room to make sure that he won’t get into trouble.
Choosing the location for your Christmas tree is crucial and depends a lot on your dog’s size and age. If you have a miniature dog or a puppy, then you should put your tree on a table or a stool. That way your dog won’t be able to reach the tree and you will be safe. Of course, if you have a very tall tree this solution might not be possible.
In that case, you should find a way to secure the tree and keep your tree upright by any means necessary. That means that you need to make sure that your dog can’t tip the tree over, which can end up with him injured or with your stressed out. You should secure it to the wall or ceiling using an eye bolt or a molly hook together with a strong fishing wire.
You need to choose a location that prevents your dog from seeing the “tie down”, like the wall behind the tree. Your dog will not be able to do anything about the tree, and you will be able to have a peace of mind when it comes to tipping the tree over.
Even if you can’t secure the tree, choose a location where your tree should stay standing after an “attack” by your pooch, like right against the way in the corner of a room. That is also a good location for another reason – it is a low traffic area and your dog won’t usually run there.
Some Additional Tips
You need to do your best and keep an eye on your dog if you really want to know how to keep dog away from Christmas tree. For example, if you see that your dog is sniffing the tree, you should call him to you and then reward him with a tasty treat.
Another thing you can do is to spray the lower branches of your Christmas tree with a solution of 3 oz. of water mixed with five drops of cinnamon essential oil. You should do this twice a week to make sure that it will have an effect. Your pooch will stay out of the tree’s way since dogs have a sensitive nose that reacts badly to strong smells like cinnamon.
Dog’s sense of smell can be used as a weakness in numerous other ways. For example, you can use Vicks Vapo Rub,which has a strong menthol smell, and can thus work as a repellent for your dog. Just dip some cotton balls in the ointment and put them in the lower branches of your Christmas tree.
If you have a puppy, then you can also use a few more tricks to keep him out of the tree’s area. For example, you can put aluminum foil on the floor around the tree. Puppies, as well as cats, will avoid the area because they don’t like walking on a surface that they consider odd or weird.
You can also purchase a soft “tacky mat” to use when figuring out how to keep dog away from Christmas tree as well, since most pets don’t like to walk around on sticky surfaces. There is another similar option you can use, it’s a product called Sticky Paws which is basically a double-sided tape that you can apply to carpets under and around your Christmas tree.
If your dog is somewhat shy and easily scared, you can add a lot of bells on your Christmas tree. This will probably spook him and he will not think about going near the tree again. Even if your dog isn’t so easily scared, you should still try this strategy since it can still work.