During the holidays specifically Christmas Day, your dog can see your Christmas tree as her/his closest buddy. Most dogs are lured to the enticing scent and the enticement of gift boxes, wrappings, lights, and decorations by instinct. Therefore, it is quite useful for you to take preventative action to dog-proof your Christmas tree to protect both the dog, and the tree.
Why is it important to dog-proof things?
In the language of dog training, “proofing” refers to repeatedly performing a behavior in many settings and circumstances until your dog generalizes the intended behavior and can execute it anyplace, even in the presence of distractions.
Watch out—a dog’s insatiable curiosity puts it in danger of severe harm or worse. Even if your dog has never shown these behaviors ever, it only needs to happen once to result in a miserable situation. This means you have to consider doing some planning to dog-proof your Christmas tree so you can celebrate the season while keeping your dog protected.
10 Tips to dog-proof your Christmas Tree
The following advice will help you dog-proof your Christmas tree and ensure that your dog and your tree have the safest and happiest Christmas ever.
1. Provide a barrier to your Christmas tree.
Your Christmas tree could capture the interest of dogs and if it is not well fastened, it might collapse. Your pet might get hurt if the tree falls, and it could also destroy sensitive decorations or drop water all over your floor.
Your tree will remain in place all through the holiday season if you anchor it. The use of a Christmas tree barrier will also prevent dogs and inquisitive puppies from approaching too closely.
2. Keep your Christmas tree plain.
Dogs, particularly young puppies, might be interested in a new object in your house. Real Christmas trees emit a variety of smells, which may tempt an interesting dog to check. Your dog may get comfortable with the tree without risking breaking any of your sensitive decorations if you leave it plain for a few days.
3. Wires and electrical string lights should be hidden.
While Christmas lights may make your tree shimmer, they can also become very hot and your dog can find them entertaining to bite on.
To prevent biting, hide cables from view and reach for your pet. Regularly inspect the cables to look for chewing traces.
4. Food is not for decoration; it is to be eaten.
Few things make dogs happier than food. Food products should not be used to decorate your tree, whether they be candy canes, sugar cookies, or salt dough decorations; they should be kept for a plate.
Your dog may ingest your decorations and will have nausea or an upset stomach. Save food for dinner plates and dog bowls rather than Christmas decorations to control your dog’s hunger and climbing behaviors.
5. Keep the area around the Christmas tree clean.
Artificial trees may brittle with time, much as real trees lose their branches over time. In order to prevent your dog from accidentally tasting a pine needle, be sure you frequently clean the area around your tree. The intestines and stomach of your dog may become affected if they ingest pine needles.
Be careful to gather up any ribbon, paper, threads, or toy parts that may have fallen from your tree after all the Christmas gifts have been opened. Avoid having your dog mistake these choking risks for Christmas presents!
6. Avoid Poisonous plants
Are Christmas trees harmful to dogs? Christmas plants that cover our homes for the holidays seem pleasant, but if you have dogs in the house, they can also make them ill.
Christmas trees that are not highly detrimental, are the response. Mistletoe, holly, ivy, lilies, Amaryllis, Christmas roses, and poinsettias are just a few of the popular Christmas decorations that can be fatal to your pet if consumed.
Consult a veterinarian right away if you think your dog may have consumed one of these plants or if they are exhibiting any of these symptoms. Additionally, thought about replacing these harmful plants with their synthetic equivalents or looking for plants to use that are safer for your dog.
7. Don’t use Tinsel
One of the largest dog safety risks associated with holiday décor is tinsel. These bright threads, which are intended to resemble the icicles on our trees, are nothing special to our pets, who treat them like any other string. These threads can get seriously clogged in our pets’ digestive tracts if they are eaten, and cutting them out may need extensive surgery.
8. Leave the gifts till Christmas.
To keep your holiday decorations safe from your dog, consider what you are placing beneath the tree as well as what you are putting on it. Wait to unwrap your presents before placing them beneath the tree.
If you do place gifts under the tree, avoid doing so with edible or scented items. To keep your dog from getting to any gifts under the tree, secure them with a gate or pen.
9. Install a camera or an alarm
Choose a strategy to keep an eye on the tree while you are away. Use an alarm system that informs you or makes a noise if your dog comes too close to the tree, or install a pet camera on the tree so you can see if your dog is messing with it.
Additionally, it’s advantageous for an alarm to alert you if a dog destroys the gate or fenced-in area that is guarding the tree.
10. Train your dog
Even though it requires more effort than just closing a door, basic obedience training may help you make sure that your dog knows how to interact with new objects around the house, such as the Christmas tree. Here are some tips for teaching them to assist you:
- Give your dog a treat when they come to you when you call.
- Instruct him/her on the basic cues, such as trade, dump, and leave it.
The holidays are rapidly approaching, temptations are at their peak, and because your dog knows you, he or she will be more inclined to listen to your cues and commands.
Many people overlook the fact that dogs will be fascinated by a new Christmas tree and the ornaments placed on it. Make sure to dog-proof your Christmas tree, decorate it with pet-friendly items, and keep food away from the tree in order to keep your pet safe and holiday decorations intact.
Although educating your dog to avoid the tree may take more effort than just keeping them out of the room, it is a useful technique for teaching them how to act appropriately in general. We really hope that these suggestions will assist you in keeping your dog and Christmas decorations safe.
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Written by Sheryl Ann Damgo