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How To Keep Dog Away From Christmas Tree? Tried & Tested!

At A Glance

How to keep dog away from Christmas tree? Ah yes, the annual year-end challenge of new and veteran dog owners alike. Fortunately, I have a trusty Ways To Keep Dog Away From Christmas Tree list - from setting up a baby gate to spraying deterrents around the tree to being mindful of what you hang up and put around the tree.

  • Make sure your holiday tree is stable and sturdy. You can use a heavy base, secure it to the floor, or position it behind the couch.
  • Put up a tree that’s the least enticing to your dog. Minimize appetizing smells by not hanging chocolates and candy canes, and mask other attractive aromas with dog repellents.

Last Updated on: Dec 20, 2022

Why does my dog keep going under the Christmas tree?

As excited as you are with decorating, your dog can be just as eager.

Their eagerness is amplified when they see shiny lights and colorful presents on and around your holiday pine.

Not to mention the alluring smells of freshly harvested tree, gift wrapping, and presents inside those ribboned boxes.

What dog can resist?

But all is not lost! Below, I’m gonna share dog proof christmas tree ideas you can apply immediately.

Consider this your How To Keep Dog Away From Christmas Tree cheat sheet!

custom oil-painted dog portraits by Poshtraits

Put Up a Fake Tree Instead

The reality is that dogs will always be curious and often won’t stop until they satisfy their curiosity.

That being said, one of the best ways to prevent dealing with a mess during the holidays is by opting for an artificial tree.

Dogs won’t be as attracted to a tree that doesn’t smell like freshly cut pine, fig, or spruce.

As a bonus, putting up a fake tree would make your home a lot cleaner. You wouldn’t have to worry about any leaves shedding all over the place or branches snapping off completely without hope for repair.

Get Your Dog Used To A Bare Christmas Tree

The truth is, the more items you hang on your tree, the more you pique your pet’s curiosity.

And if your dog gets particularly excited about new and unfamiliar things, then it’s more likely to sniff around and rummage through a tree donning many ornaments and gifts.

So it isn’t really a matter of asking, “What can I put around my Christmas tree to keep my dog away?”

Rather, find an effective How To Protect Christmas Tree From Dog method.

Like this one: Put up a bare tree first and let your dog sniff, investigate, and even play or sleep under it. Gradually add your baubles each day leading up to Christmas.

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Ever Heard Of A Baby Gate?

Nobody wants to implement the “keep dog in fence” practice during the holidays. So why not do the reverse?

Fence in your tree instead!

Install a baby gate to prevent your dog from entering the room where the Christmas tree is. Or set it up around the tree itself as a perimeter that will render it untouchable to your pet.

Faraha Rahman, an expert on Christmas decorations, suggests, “Build a wall by putting on a fence all around the Christmas tree and the gifts. Use an exercise pen and a baby gate to do that. Let your dog understand that the tree is off-limits.”

The structure not only serves as a basic line of defense but is also a brilliant way on how to keep a puppy away from a Christmas tree.

Make The Tree Base Immovable

If baby gates can’t keep your dog away, or if they’re energetic or stubborn enough to go over it, try fortifying the base of your Christmas tree. Hold it down with something heavy.

“You want to make sure you have a really sturdy tree base, so it isn’t leaning”, advises Dr. Jason Nicholas, BVetMed (Hons) owner. In addition to keeping your tree up for longer, this also prevents playful dogs from toppling it over.

Tying the tree to a fortified foundation on the ground, wall, or ceiling would work as well.

Dr. Nicholas adds, “You could further secure it by tying it to the wall, or the ceiling… or even use your furniture to your advantage. If you have a bigger dog, you can sort of put the tree behind the couch in a little corner.”

Change The Smell Of The Tree’s Surroundings

From store-bought sprays to homemade remedies designed to keep dogs away, various types of dog repellents could keep your pet away from your Christmas tree.

It’s not difficult to do, either. Simply spray or sprinkle your preferred solution on the tree and/or on the floor surrounding it.

If you have a lot of holiday errands to catch up on, pick up deterrents at your local pet shop for an effortless finish.

But if you have a little more time on your hands, you can prepare homemade concoctions using vinegar and spices. Cinnamon and nutmeg will even go along with the Christmas spirit!

dog lying on the floor with fairy lights

Protect Your Dog From Wires And Electrical Cords

Dogs can get mischievous and hyperactive, especially when they can sense your excitement and festive mood. So, it’s no surprise if they find themselves tangled in messy situations. This is particularly common when you have fairy lights up.

If you’re looking up on How To Keep Dog Away From Christmas Tree techniques, you also have to consider the electrical cords around it.

Keep the wires neatly out of the way so your pet can’t nibble, pull, or get them all tangled up. You can duct tape them in place under the tree skirt.

Opt For Heavy-Duty And Pet-Friendly Christmas Decor

A mischievous or excitable dog gets particularly inquisitive about bright and sparkly objects. So, trinkets made of glass or ceramic may not be your best option. When jostled, the pieces can fall and break upon hitting the ground.

Getting stronger ornaments in plastic or wood would be more practical. Of course, you want to make sure your decorations are non-toxic in case your dog still gets ahold of them and treats them as chew toys.

In such cases, Faraha suggests, “You can use shining armor like aluminum foil because dogs hate the texture and sound.”

Hang Delicate Ornaments On Higher Branches

If you do end up with more fragile objects, or if you have traditional ornaments that your household puts up every year, keep them higher on the tree out of your dog’s reach.

Make sure they can’t be reached even when your dog goes from all fours to standing on their hind legs.

Display the more durable piecess – or decor that you don’t mind throwing out or replacing right away – at your dog’s height level.

This way, you can have peace of mind knowing they can be distracted by these decorations instead of attempting to get to your more delicate baubles.

Say No To Edibles

Decorating your Christmas tree with chocolates and candy canes can be a lethal combination with a dog that has a tendency to eat anything. You might want to reconsider the items you hang up for the sake of your tree, and the health of your dog.

“Candy canes or other items made with xylitol, a sugar substitute, are another hidden holiday danger. For dogs, it is ridiculously toxic”, Dr. Nicholas reminds pet owners.

Making a dog proof Christmas tree means not hanging any food on it. This will keep it safe from being raided by overly excited puppies, and your dog’s stomach free from dangerous ingredients.

On a related note, dog owner Susan Dryden McKown shares, “Never let a pet drink from the tree’s water bowl and never put a poinsettia near your pets as both are toxic.”

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Train Your Dog To Behave

Almost any dog problem can be solved by training.

Of course, it could be quite challenging to get them used to the concept of having a Christmas tree they aren’t allowed to touch because it won’t be there all year round.

However, the effort will guarantee long-lasting results. After all, that pine is a regular albeit temporary fixture in your home every year.

On the other hand, if you notice behavioral issues that don’t stop your pet from messing with your tree, consider sending them to training school.

Don’t Put Gifts Under The Tree

What if your dog is persistent in unwrapping the presents displayed at the foot of your tree?

Sometimes, the simplest answer to the “how to keep my dog away from the Christmas tree” question is to bring out your gifts on Christmas morning, not a single day earlier.

This might dampen your kids’ enthusiasm a bit, but you can explain to them that it’s the only way your dog won’t have access to their goodies ahead of them.

dog biting the Christmas ball

Frequently Asked Questions

What Happens If My Dog Eats the Christmas Tree?

A Christmas tree in itself is generally safe in that it’s not toxic for dogs, even when they sniff around it. However, the tree might have been treated with chemical preservatives. And that is definitely bad for your dog’s well being.

The needles can also cause irritation in a dog’s mouth, stomach, and paws. If your pet chewed on your tree and you notice them acting strangely after, it’s best to contact your vet or visit them right away.

Which Is Better When You Have Pets, A Real Or Fake Christmas Tree?

As beautiful as they are and as comforting as their scent can be, real Christmas trees might not be the best option if you have an overly curious or excitable dog. A fake Christmas tree would be the way to go since there are less chances of messing up the ornaments, breaking the tree, or needing to schedule an emergency holiday trip to the vet.


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Meet Paul, a devoted dog dad to the delightful French Bulldog, Cofi. With a flair for humor and a deep understanding of Frenchie quirks, Paul brings a lighthearted touch to his writings. His relatable stories and practical insights are a blend of laughter and valuable advice and resonate with fellow dog owners.

Through his words, Paul aims to celebrate the joys and challenges of being a dedicated pet parent, reminding you that life is simply better with a four-legged, snorting sidekick by your side.