Unpacking presents with friends and family around the Christmas tree, the dog certainly should be part of these festivities. But dogs and Christmas don’t always go together. Curious dogs will check out the Christmas decorations, Christmas wreaths, tea lights, light cords, Christmas gifts and – of course – the gourmet set. How to prevent this? No worries: with these tips you and your dog will have a stress-free Christmas.
Tip 1: Anchor the tree
In the movies the Christmas tree is always tipping over. But in real life too. Something can be done to prevent this: anchor the tree. For example, buy a Christmas tree with a root ball and place it in a large container with soil. Or use a heavy Christmas tree stand as a Christmas tree foot. Cheating is always allowed; use a fishing wire to also secure the tree at the top.
Tip 2: Wait with decorations
Most dogs (and cats) find a bare Christmas tree in the livingroom very exciting. Therefor it is wise to let the tree undecorated for a couple of days, so that the dog can sniff extensively. Interest disappears after a few days. Then you don’t have to worry as much that a curious dog’s nose is trying to push the Christmas balls out of the tree.
Tip 3: Pay attention to the tail
A broken Christmas ball is not only a sin, but it’s also dangerous. Your dog can stand on it or get shards in his mouth. And that can lead to very dangerous wounds. Therefore make sure that the most beautiful, fragile and most special balls hang higher than the dog’s tail height. At the bottom of the tree – or everywhere if you have a very wild dog – hang plastic balls. And make sure that the tail cannot get entangled in a Christmas garland.
Tip 4: No food in the tree
Chocolate is definitely not a good idea for dogs. And hanging these treats up high in the tree makes little sense for most dogs: their nose can certainly pick up this smell in the room . Therefore, do not hang those nice Christmas chocolates in the tree, but place them in a safe place where the dog cannot reach them – especially when you are distracted with unpacking Christmas presents.
Tip 5: Faking it
At Christmas we all bring a piece of nature into the house and that is not always handy for your pet. The needles of a Christmas tree are fortunately not toxic, but they are sharp and they can pierce the intestinal wall. So make sure your dog does not take a bite out of the Christmas tree – for non-listening dogs you might better opt for a fake tree. A Christmas star is also not toxic, but it seems that you can get red spots from the juice on the skin and that the leaves cause digestive problems. Holly leaves are not toxic, but the berries in large quantities are. And with the mistletoe that is exactly the other way around.
Tip 6: Keep those presents out of reach
A nicely decorated Christmas tree with a big pile of presents at the base is how everybody imagines a perfect Christmas. But those presents are all play objects for the dog. And maybe there is something in it that he is not allowed to eat or can easily break. So store those presents somewhere safe until Christmas morning.
Tip 7: The right height
What applies to tea lights and candles, also applies to the food and the gourmet set: always place it high enough so the dog cannot reach it. Also pay attention to a wagging tail and think how high and far your dog can reach when he is standing on his hind legs. Everything properly measured and placed out of reach? Then your dog is less likely to be tempted to misbehave and ruin (his) Christmas.