By the end of November or beginning of December, many people are making plans to put up and decorate their Christmas tree. It’s often a tradition that families enjoy doing together, and ornaments can hold special memories. But if your family has a canine companion, you may be worried about how to dog-proof your Christmas tree so it lasts all season.
- Opt for an artificial tree.
Yes, there is something special about cutting down or picking out a live tree, but that also poses a lot more risk for your dog. The water used to keep your tree alive can contain unhealthy bacteria and toxins that may make your dog sick if they drink it. Accidentally ingesting pine needles – or stepping on them! – can be dangerous too. You reduce a lot of the risk with an artificial tree.
- Secure your tree.
A falling tree can not only frighten your dog, but it may injure it if the dog gets hit. Tie a piece of clear fishing line around the middle of your tree and secure it to a hook in the wall, or tie it around the top and affix it to a nail in the ceiling. You can also use furniture to help block the tree in and keep it from falling too far. Don’t forget to move any electrical cords out of the way or tape them down so your dog doesn’t chew on them.
- Be thoughtful with ornaments.
When hanging ornaments on the tree, put anything fragile or breakable up higher so there is less risk of your dog knocking it off. Avoid any food-related decorations, whether it’s cinnamon or salt dough ornaments, strings of popcorn, or real candy canes. Tinsel is also a no-go; while it’s sparkly and pretty, it can be very dangerous if eaten. Try to use plastic hooks instead of metal ones, or loops of string or twine to hold ornaments.
- Train your dog to stay away.
Some people put up a gate around their tree, or block their dog from coming into the room unless they are there. Let your dog sniff out the bare tree when you first put it up so they get their curiosity out of the way. Then train them to come into the room and lay down in a spot away from the tree, and keep reinforcing that.
- Leave the presents for last.
Another major attractor to the tree can be the presents. If you want to keep your dog away, don’t put anything underneath that they might be interested in. Wait until Christmas Eve or Christmas morning to put anything out, or wrap empty boxes in the meantime just in case your dog decides to chew on them. You don’t want them to get into anything potentially harmful or that they could destroy.
If you’re going to be away around the holidays, and your dog’s curiosity gets the best of them, make sure the dog – and your tree – stay safe by boarding them at Lake Wylie Pet Resort. You won’t have to worry about coming home to a mangled tree or gifts, or a sick or injured dog. Contact us today to book your dog’s stay!