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Dogs and Natural Christmas Trees – Are They Safe?

Christmas is fast approaching and we are starting to think about gifts, decorating and above all getting a Christmas tree to decorate for the holidays.

But is a natural tree safe when you have a dog in your home.

Natural trees are lovely but we must remember that most dogs will instinctively be drawn to the inviting smell of the tree and their natural curiosity could place them at risk. Needles from a Christmas tree are not digestible and could cause illness depending on your dog’s size and how much is ingested. Fir tree oils will irritate the mouth and stomach and cause vomiting. Tree needles can also obstruct or puncture the intestines.

Another concern is the water in which the tree sits. We often use preservatives or aspirin in the water to help keep our tree fresh, and such treated water could be very harmful to a thirsty dog. When hanging ornaments on the tree it would be best to use ribbon or yarn as opposed to wire hooks which can snag a wagging tail and if swallowed could lodge in your dog’s throat.

We should also be careful of other natural holiday plants such as holly berries, mistletoe, poinsettias, Christmas cactus and rosemary, all of which can be very harmful or toxic to your pet. So be careful when choosing a tree and plants for the holidays and let’s keep our furry friends safe and healthy.

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