December 8, 2021 by Pinnacle Pet
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, with Christmas just a few weeks away, and that means decorating a Christmas tree for many people. However, for those of you fortunate enough to live with a dog in your home, there are some things you may want to consider before you start decorating that tree. In this blog, we’ll discuss some ways you can make your tree safer for your dog.
Dog’s are naturally attracted to trees. They’re fun to scratch and chew on, and, usually, this isn’t a problem for your dog. Natural trees outdoors are, for the most part, harmless. However, most natural Christmas trees marketed for indoor use are coated in preservative chemicals. These are unhealthy for your dog and are sometimes toxic if ingested in large volumes. Additionally, the needles on evergreen trees can cause puncturing in your dogs’ digestive tract. If it’s not an unbreakable rule in your family to go with a real Christmas tree, it’s best for your dog if you opt for an artificial tree.
Two typical edible Christmas tree decorations present dangers to your dog: popcorn and candy canes. Popcorn on a string is probably the more significant risk. Because dogs enjoy popcorn, they will likely try to eat the popcorn and, in the process, are at risk of choking on the string. We recommend avoiding this Christmas tree favorite altogether. Candy canes are a risk for your dog because sugar is not healthy. If you want to keep the candy canes, it’s best to make sure they are up high and out of reach. If your dog grabs enough candy canes of those lower hanging limbs, your dog could have a trip to the vet in store over the holidays.
Glass ornaments and tinsel are shiny, fun to play with items. Glass ornaments pose a safety concern to your dog because they are likely to break in your dog’s mouth, causing cuts and potentially severe internal bleeding if swallowed. Choose plastic ornaments instead to be safe. Tinsel is, similarly to the popcorn string, a choking hazard. It’s probably best to leave it off your Christmas tree.
Our final recommendation for your dog’s Christmas tree safety is to COVER THE WATER BASIN on your natural Christmas tree. The real Christmas tree is a must for many people’s holiday traditions, and, if that’s the case for you, simply covering the water basin on your natural tree can be a lifesaver for your dog. Because natural Christmas trees tend to be coated with harmful preservatives, these leach into the water that keeps your tree looking fresh. For dogs, drinking this water is about as irresistible as drinking out of the toilet bowel is for them. If you cover the bowel with a tree skirt, or something more substantial, you could be saving your dog from a toxic dose of preservative chemicals.
We hope this blog has been helpful, and we hope it helps you, your family, and your dog have a very merry Christmas! P.S. If you’re thinking about donating to any animal charities in honor of the holidays, you may want to read our recent blog on why we recommend supporting local animal charities.