Seven tips to help you pet proof your Christmas tree

Love Christmas with all the festive trimmings, but worried your pet might destroy your tree? Here are seven ways you can pet proof it.

Pets are known for being curious, so they are bound to want to investigate what this big addition to the living room is but of course that shouldn’t put you off the idea of a real fir Christmas tree.

Christmas tree expert and dog and cat mum herself, Veronika Kusak from Pines and Needles is on hand with her seven tips to make sure your tree is pet-proofed this festive season. 

1) Securely anchor your Christmas tree 

Your four-legged friend will undoubtedly be curious about your Christmas tree, and if it is not properly secured, it may tip and fall. If the tree falls, it could injure your pet, break fragile ornaments or spill the tree water on the floor. Anchoring your tree will keep it in place throughout the festive season. 

2) Leave your tree bare for a few days 

The incredible smell of a real Christmas tree will certainly spark an inquisitive pet’s investigative streak, so 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.

3) Hide electrical string lights and wires

Christmas is filled with lots of twinkly lights and colourful decorations, which all require wires. Make sure to keep wires out of sight and reach of your pet to discourage any chewing. The bright lights and colours may be tempting, so keep them out of reach to avoid your furry friend from coming to any harm.

4) Avoid tinsel 

Bright, shiny tinsel definitely divides a room with its nostalgic charm, shall we say. It’s certainly eye-catching and will more than likely attract the attention of your pet. For those with dogs and cats, it’s probably best to avoid this as they may ingest the tinsel, which can result in intestinal blockage and a worrying trip to the vets.

5) Keep tree water covered and out of the way 

Ensure that tree water is covered, so that your dog or cat is unable to drink from it. Not only do many people put fertilisers in, which can be toxic and upset your pet’s stomach but stagnant water is a prime place for bacteria to grow, and in turn, your pet may end up with nausea or an upset stomach. 

6) Place fragile ornaments higher up your tree

Be warned – if your dog or cat knocks your Christmas tree, your favourite ornaments can be at risk! Put your delicate ornaments on sturdy branches at the top of your tree to avoid them getting knocked off and breaking.

7) Save the presents for Christmas morning 

Many people keep presents from friends and family under the tree until Christmas Day and because of how inviting they look under the tree, they will get the attention of pets.

Wrapped presents may contain food that’s toxic for dogs such as chocolate, raisins, spiced nuts and more. It’s safest for your pet to keep wrapped presents out of reach until it’s time to open them.

Photo by Arun Kuchibhotla