Is Christmas tree toxic to dogs? The Ultimate Guide

The Dangers Associated With Christmas Trees

While you may have visions of stringing popcorn garlands, tinsel strands, and salt dough ornaments along your beautiful fir tree, your pet will be drooling at your feet, eager to make a snack out of the conveniently hung treats. Even without food-based and shiny decorations, your Christmas tree can pose a threat to your furry friend. Before setting up your Christmas card photo of your pet bedecked in antlers or an elf hat in front of the tree, consider these potential hazards:

  • Live Trees: Fir, spruce, and pine trees make excellent Christmas trees and are generally non-toxic to pets. The needles, however, can cause oral irritation and in excessive amounts, gastrointestinal upset.
  • Artificial Trees: Although fake trees are oil- and sap-free, they can create gastrointestinal issues, depending on what material makes up the tree.
  • Fertilized Water: If you put your Christmas tree up the day after Thanksgiving, you will want to ensure it lasts until Christmas by adding fertilizer or preservatives to the water. These chemicals, mold, and bacteria can make your pet ill if they drink from the tree stand.
  • Ornaments: Your pet may think your glass baubles, clay keepsakes, and ceramic ornaments are excellent toys for batting, but they can crash to the floor and shatter, cutting paws.
  • Lights: Dazzling strands of light can intrigue your cat and delight your dog, but are choking hazards and can lead to electrical burns.
  • Is Christmas tree toxic to dogs?

    Tips to keep your dog safe around your tree

    Is Christmas tree toxic to dogs?

    You love admiring your Christmas tree, but all the ornaments and lights probably look more like toys to your dog. So he might try to play with them — or even chew on your tree.

    But are Christmas trees toxic to dogs, or is it OK if your dog takes a nibble?

    We spoke to Dr. Paul Cunningham, a senior emergency clinician at BluePearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital in Michigan, to find out if Christmas trees are toxic to dogs.

    Are fake Christmas trees safe for dogs?

    Fake trees can be safer for dogs.

    “Generally speaking, fake Christmas trees pose less risks than live pine trees,” Dr. Cunningham said.

    But that doesn’t mean that they’re totally risk-free.

    If your dog does manage to take a chunk out of your fake tree, the plastic could cause choking, an obstruction in your dog’s digestive tract or poisoning. Luckily, the chance of that happening is probably pretty low because your dog would have to spend some time gnawing on the tree to eat a piece big enough to pose a risk. But you should still keep an eye on your pup whenever he’s near the tree, just to be safe.

    Holiday danger for pets – Are Christmas Trees Poisonous to Cats and Dogs

    A bright and beautiful Christmas tree can be the perfect antidote to dreary winter evenings, and as far as we’re concerned, it’s never too early to put up your Christmas decorations.

    For pet owners, it’s important to know the dangers Christmas trees and other festive plants pose to their four-legged friends.