Christmas Tree Safety
By Arlo the Hound with help from Honor Tarpenning
Adding preservative chemicals to your tree’s water can help your tree last until new years but it can make your dog sick. Cover the tree base with a tree skirt; this will keep pooch from drinking the water. Even if you don’t put preservatives in your tree’s water, chemicals and saps from the tree can seep into the water making it unhealthy for your dog to drink. Also, if your dog continually drinks the tree water, it can dry-out and become a fire hazard. If you don’t like the look of a tree skirt, or think it makes it too much of a pain to water the tree, secure a screen over the tree base. This will make it simple for you to replenish to water, and impossible for your pooch to drink it.
Keep breakable ornaments like glass balls towards the top of the tree and well out of pooch’s reach. Instead of using hooks to hang them, use longer bits of wire or pipe cleaners and actually wrap them around the branches, rather than just hanging them. This will make them less likely to fall and leave dangerous glass shards around the tree.
Tie-up loose electrical cords and wire them to the trunk of the tree. This will keep your pooch from getting tangled in them and keeps them from looking like attractive playthings.
Anchor the Tree
Attach a wire or strong fishing line between an eyehook in the ceiling and the trunk of the tree. This will hold the tree upright so if your dog does try to play with it or bump into it, it will be less likely to fall over and land on him.
Spread a yucky-flavored dog repellent on the trunk and lower branches of the tree to make it less attractive for your dog to chew. Hot sauce works for some dogs too.
Just say NO to tinsel. If your dog eats tinsel it can cause a dangerous blockage in his digestive tract that can make your dog sick or worse, it could even kill him.
Avoid food-based decorations like candy canes or strings of popcorn or berries. This is just too hard for most dogs to resist. The string could cause a blockage and make him very sick, and pulling on the decoration could pull the tree down, even if it is well-anchored.
Pine needles pose a choking hazard to your dog. Keep your tree watered to minimize dropped needles, and make sure you keep stray needles swept from around the tree.
A gate or pen around the base of the tree can keep your pooch from playing in it. Make it festive by covering it with lights, ribbon or wrapping paper.
Under The Tree
It’s nice to keep presents under the tree, but make sure all food-related presents are kept elsewhere, lest your pooch be tempted to open them before Christmas morning.