Puppy Proofing for Christmas

christmas tree

With Christmas just around the corner and you are deciding to “deck the halls” think about your Christmas tree and making it puppy safe.  Your puppy may believe the Christmas tree is a special gift just for his or her entertainment. The attraction is natural, as puppies want to chew branches, pull off decorations or worse. The result can be a holiday that’s anything but merry.

There is nothing more rewarding than dog ownership and puppies love to turn everything into a toy. The branches beneath the Christmas tree create a great puppy hideout;

Tree ornaments that move or make noises lure puppies to grab and chase and garland offers a great game of tug-o’-war.   The twinkling lights draw puppies to investigate or even chew which can then lead to electrical shock.

Trees can end up toppled, presents and decorations damaged, and sometimes pets are hurt.  Whilst Christmas is an exciting time of year it is important to consider making sure that all family members are safe and can enjoy the holidays.

Young puppies often follow nature’s call and they may use your tree as a pee post, the same way they would mark an outside tree.  Water in the tree base looks like a drinking dish. If that water has any preservatives to keep trees fresh, it could make puppies sick.

Puppy Proof the Christmas Tree

First, make sure all breakables or dangerous ornaments and decorations are not on lower branches; situate them out of a pet’s reach.

Anything that fits in the puppy’s mouth is a potential hazard. Garlands, ornaments, strings or hooks, icicles and fake spray-on snow can cause problems.

Keep Puppies Away

Next, keep puppies at bay and a safe distance from danger by making the area surrounding the tree unattractive.

There are several options, and some work for certain pets and not for others.

Aluminum foil is a great deterrent for tiny pups and cats

since they dislike walking on that odd-feeling surface. Silver foil also offers a festive holiday look.

You can also use the pet’s sense of smell to keep her away from the tree. Vicks Vapo Rub (menthol smell) also works as a good pet repellent. Dip cotton balls in the ointment and stick in the lower branches of your tree.

Bitter Apple or other nasty tasting substances help keep pups from chewing but don’t rely on this entirely. Some dogs actually like the flavor and still chew through electric cords.

Creating a barrier so that you puppy cannot get to your tree is always a helpful tip.  You could consider setting smaller trees on table or counter top out of dog nose-reach.  Place your tree inside of a baby’s playpen.  Blocking off the “tree room” with a baby gate will ensure that you can enjoy the tree and have peace of mind that you puppy is safe.

Create a Puppy Holiday Treat Tree

If you don’t mind having puppies turn your tree into a canine playground, make sure the holiday tree is assault proof.

Attach guy-wires or twine to protect topple-prone trees from the puppy’s games.  Just make sure the ornaments are pet safe, with no swallowable parts.  You could even offer the puppies a small tree of their own.  Here are some tips on how to make a puppy Christmas tree.

  1. Get rid of the lights and any flocking that could be licked or swallowed. Water your real tree with plain water or choose an artificial one that has no additives in case the pup wants to drink.
  2. Puppies want to play tug with garland but could care less about dried flowers, and they still look festive.
  3. Soft puppy toys with squeakers make great tree decorations and won’t be destroyed during puppy play.
  4. Jumbo-size jingle bells offer movement and sound when hung from ribbon on a branch. Stuff one inside a sock and knot the end for more jingly fun, which serves as insurance the pup won’t try to swallow the toy.
  5. Chews or puzzle toys stuffed with smelly treats can be placed around the base of the tree. That offers something for Junior Dog to smell and chew—safely.
  6. Decorate with the pet in mind and you’ll keep the fur-kids in the family happy and safe.

Here at Little Rascals Pets Limited we would like to take this opportunity to wish all our puppies and owners a very Merry Christmas and would love to see photos of you enjoying the festive season.  You can post you pictures on our Forever homes Facebook page or email us at info@littlerascalspuppies.com