We’ve chatted with the experts to gather these 12 dog proof Christmas tree ideas.  Keep your pooch & tree safe this Christmas season!

A Jolly Festive Round-Up
Dog Sitting In Front Of Christmas Tree With Red Reindeer Antler Headband Reminding Of The Importance Of Dog Proofing The Christmas Tree.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year … A time of joy, laughter, and… the annual challenge of keeping our furry pals away from the Christmas tree. Let’s face it, that tree, decked out with shiny ornaments and twinkling lights, is like a magnet for our curious canine family members.

But amidst the fun festive vibes lie some hazards to be managed—pine needles causing tummy troubles and tempting electric cords just waiting to be chewed. 

Worry not! We’ve rounded up 12 savvy tips, straight from the experts, to help dog-proof your Christmas tree.  Now we can keep both our furry friends, and our trees, safe this festive season!

Why Are Christmas Trees Unsafe For Dogs?


It’s hardly a surprise that this festive arrival is almost irresistible to our four-legged friends!  With its twinkling lights, shiny decorations, and intriguing smells, a Christmas tree is a veritable playground of new adventures and discoveries waiting to be enjoyed.  It’s no wonder any curious dog can’t resist this seasonal wonderland.  However, despite the enchantment, these festive focal points pose potential hazards for our pets, especially for the more inquisitive young pups and adolescent dogs!

Unfortunately Christmas trees are not the most dog-friendly. Those pine needles on a real tree may seem harmless, but if ingested, they spell gastrointestinal irritation for your dog. Plus, the water collecting beneath the tree can be a breeding ground for bacteria, a stomach ache waiting to happen.

Christmas tree light cords are just calling out to be chewed which could of course result in a nasty electric shock.  And the decorations themselves can be troublesome too.  Tinsel and garlands are at risk of causing intestinal blockages if ingested.  And delicate baubles could easily break if explored, causing scratches, cuts, or worse if eaten.

Dog Close To Camera With Santa Hat On Head & Candy Cane Stripy Wrapped Gifts Under Tree Behind.

It’s Important To Consider Your Four-Legged Friends When Setting Up Your Christmas Tree

It’s a worrying list, and you might feel discouraged, thinking, “Is it worth the risk?”  Fear not! There’s hope for a harmonious holiday. With some savvy precautions and a dash of dog-proofing wisdom, pet parents can still revel in the festive spirit, even with a real Christmas tree at home.

The holiday pet safety tips we’ve gathered below will ease concerns and help to ensure a season full of joy while keeping your furry friend safe and sound.

12 Ways To Help Dog Proof Your Christmas Tree


Check out these top tips for keeping our furry friends safe and enjoying our Christmas trees to the max over the holiday season.

1. Secure Your Christmas Tree In Position

Anchor your tree well to keep it in place throughout the festive season.  ‘If the tree falls, it could injure your pet, break fragile ornaments or spill the tree water on the floor’, explains Veronika Kusak, Christmas tree expert and pet parent from Pines and Needles.  

Secure it to the wall or ceiling with (invisible) fishing wire – our Dad tied ours to the curtain rail! – or use a heavy, wide-based tree stand to give as much stability as possible.

2. Leave The Tree Bare For A Few Days 

This exciting new arrival is bound to grab your pup’s attention, and inquisitive dogs of all ages will want to investigate.  ‘It’s a good idea to leave your tree bare for a few days to allow your dog to get used to the tree without risk of breaking any of your ornaments.’, suggests Veronika.  Once they lose interest, then you can start to decorate.

3. Avoid Tinsel

The nation is certainly divided on its tinsel opinion – it’s almost as hot a topic as marmite these days!  But, for pet owners, Veronika suggests avoiding those shiny, eye-catching tinsel garlands.  ‘[Dogs] may ingest the tinsel, which can result in intestinal blockage and a worrying trip to the vets.’ 

Dog With Santa Hat In Front Of Presents Under Christmas Tree And Baubles On Lower Branches.

Be Sure To Keep Decorations Dog-Friendly To Avoid Injury Or Tummy Upsets.

4. Say No To Food Decorations

Whilst Christmas tree chocolate decorations, candy canes, or gingerbread may be full of nostalgia for us, of course it’s a different situation when it comes to our furry friends.  They are another reason for your pooch explore the tree and of course not good to be consumed.  Save the festive treats for the dinner table and leave the edible ornaments off the tree.

5. Hide Electrical Cords

We all love those twinkling Christmas lights, and our four-legged friends are no exception!  The flashing lights and bright colours are sure to attract the attention of inquisitive pups.  But of course this could end with a nasty electric shock if the lights happen to be plugged in at the time.  

‘Make sure to keep wires out of sight and reach of your pet to discourage any chewing’, recommends Veronika. Consider using cord covers or taping the cables down and hiding them behind furniture as much as possible.  

6. Replace Traditional Wire Hooks

Switch out traditional wire ornament hooks for twine or more sturdy twist ties.  They’ll keep the ornaments safer and better attached to the tree, and avoid your pup scratching themselves with any that accidentally fall to the floor.  And of course the last thing any of us wants is a sharp metal hook being swallowed and causing internal damage.  

7. Place Fragile Ornaments Higher Up The Tree

‘Put your delicate ornaments on sturdy branches at the top of the tree to avoid them getting knocked off and breaking’, advises Veronika.  Stick to more dog-friendly shatterproof ornaments at the base of the tree and show off those glass ornaments higher up to keep both pet and pet parent happy. 

Dog Sitting In Front Of Christmas Tree With Santa Hat On.

Keep Tree Water Covered To Avoid Your Pooch Taking A Drink

8. Keep Tree Water Covered

For those with real Christmas trees, it’s important to keep tree water covered and out of the way so that your dog is unable to drink from it.  ‘Not only do many people put fertilisers in, which can be toxic and upset your pet’s stomach’, explains Veronika, ‘But stagnant water is a prime place for bacteria to grow, and in turn, your pet may end up with nausea.’  Covering the Water Well with a simple tree skirt can be an effective way of doing this. 

9. Keep The Tree Area Clean

Keep a close eye on the area below the tree.  Sweep up any dropping pine needles from real trees.  And keep an eye out for ornaments, ribbons, etc. that may drop to the floor over time, to ensure you keep breakable ornaments and other potentially harmful items out of temptation’s way.

10. Put Gifts Away Until Christmas Morning

Whilst it’s tempting to place Christmas presents under the tree ready for Christmas Day, it’s not just small children that find these beautifully wrapped packages intriguing.  

‘Wrapped presents may contain food that’s toxic for dogs such as chocolate, raisins, spiced nuts and more’, reminds Veronika.  And that’s not to mention the wrapping paper, ribbons and bows of course too.  Veronika recommends keeping gifts out of reach until it’s time to open them.

Dog Sitting In Front Of Log Burner With Large Decorated Christmas Tree To Side & Presents Underneath.

Above all else, try to avoid leaving your dog alone with the tree.

11. Use A Decorative Pet Fence

For more peace of mind, or if you simply cannot persuade your pooch to stay away, consider putting a physical barrier between pooch and tree.  A decorative pet fence could work well or even place your tree inside an exercise pen.  Alternatively, you could put your tree up in a separate room away from curious pet eyes and noses, maybe with a baby gate in place if you have a master door opener!

12. Try An Alternative Christmas Tree

If you simply don’t want the stress, you could always opt for a Christmas tree alternative instead.  Wall Christmas trees are increasing popular – they take up less space, can be more environmentally friendly, and are a great way to showcase your special baubles.  Or opt for a smaller tabletop tree.


We do hope the tips above help you create a safe and happy festive environment this Christmas time.  As you can see, with the help of a few simple guidelines, pooch and tree can live happily together through the festive season.  Above all else, try to avoid leaving them alone together to minimise the chances of something untoward happening to either one!  

What other dog proof Christmas tree ideas do you like to use?  Share in the comments below.

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