It's almost the most wonderful time of the year! Christmas is right around the corner and we're already in the decorating mood. But how can we make sure that last year's 'Dog vs Christmas tree' drama is not going to happen once again?
#1 Secure the Christmas Tree
Yes, regardless if you decided to have a natural tree, a plastic one or an alternative DIY tree, make sure it is siting well and it's fairly sturdy. Your pup is very likely to get next to it, sniff it and basically analyzing this mysterious object full of colors and lights that just appeared in your living room.
You could tie it to the wall, or the ceiling. Try using the furniture to your advantage, and maybe light up a corner behind the couch. A psychical barrier would be the best.
#2 Decorate out of your dogs reach
Of course, there is no complete Christmas Tree without lights. But make sure you arrange them out of your pup's reach, and pay close attention to the cables. We know some dogs, especially puppies, tend to chew on cable. Try to hide cables under rugs, or tape them down. This will also give your tree a good esthetic - nobody likes to see those ugly cables around the Christmas tree.
A good alternative would be to have battery operated lights, and in this way you can secure the lights to the tree with twine and you'll have no cables coming out of the tree. And don't forget - do not let the lights plugged in when your dog is in the same room unsupervised.
#3 Use Dog-Safe Tree Decorations
Nowadays we have so many options and styles in which we could decorate and that is fantastic! Because it also gives us choices when we want to have a dog-proof Christmas.
A list of decorations to avoid:
So what can you use? Plastic or textile ornaments are always a good idea. Consider using ribbons instead of tinsel. And remember to avoid metal hooks. Secure your decorations with twine or thread. These options are more secure and less likely to scratch your pup if he or she does get ahold of an ornament.
#4 Keep the Tree Area Clean
Especially if you are using a natural pine tree, pay extra attentions to the pine needles that shed everyday. Your pup might be tempted to give it a taste, and pine needles can be very irritating to your dog’s stomach and intestines.
Also, after opening presents, make sure you clean the floor surrounding the tree. Don't leave around any ribbon, paper, strings or toy pieces. Accidentally eating any of these might harm your dog.
#5 Train Your Dog to Stay Away from the Tree
Your puppy most probably already have 'their place' where they go when need to relax, or where you send them when they need to stay away of something. So make sure you continue with this during the Christmas period.
Of course, it is a good idea to allow the dog to initially “check it out” and sniff the tree. After all it's something new and exciting for them too.
Must importantly, enjoy the Holidays with your furry family member! Just make sure you take a few preventative steps to create a dog-proof Christmas tree.