A Christmas tree is a source of joy during the holidays but can pose dangerous hazards to your dog. Most dogs are instinctively drawn to its inviting smell, bright colors and ornaments which can place them at risk for serious injury. Even the most well-behaved dog can succumb to the temptation of a Christmas tree! The best defense to ensure safety is to take precautions that minimize or eliminate the risks:
Needles. These are not digestible and can be mildly toxic depending on the dog’s size and how much they ingest. In addition, tree needles can also obstruct or puncture the gastrointestinal tract.
Water. Tree water is poisonous to dogs. Pesticides and fertilizers are often added to tree water to keep the tree fresh. These are harmful to dogs.
Lights. We recommend that you avoid stringing lights on the bottom of the tree. They can get extremely hot and burn your dog. Dogs may also try and chew on lights which can be fatal.
Ornaments. Watch out for glass ornaments! Dogs may try and play with a broken ornament which can cause several injuries.
Tinsel. If swallowed, tinsel can block the intestines causing decreased appetite, vomiting, lethargy and weight loss.
Remember that prevention is key. If possible, place your Christmas tree in a room that can be closed off from the rest of the house. When you are not home, confine your dog to their crate or a separate room to keep them out of mischief!