Are Christmas Trees Toxic To Dogs?

It’s the holly jolly season, and if you’re someone with a pet at home you may be wondering what the deal is with Christmas trees and pets. Are they good? Are they bad? Are they...toxic? 

Are Christmas trees toxic to dogs? 

Dog owners should know that while Christmas trees are a festive way to celebrate the season, they are considered to be “mildly toxic” to dogs. (For the record, mistletoe and holly are also no-nos for dogs.) 

Don’t let your dog get into the tree needles. 

If you happen to have a real Christmas tree in your house, make sure you keep your dog from chewing on or swallowing Christmas tree needles. Depending on the size of your dog and how many they get into, tree needles can be toxic. Plus, they are not digestible. Especially sharp needles, if ingested, can puncture a dog’s intestinal lining. Fir tree oils can also cause vomiting and drooling in dogs. 

Don’t let your dog chew on Christmas lights. 

You’ll also want to make sure your dog isn’t gnawing electrical cords or the strings of Christmas lights. Routinely check for chew marks on your power strips and the ends of Christmas tree lights to make sure your dog isn’t getting into this naughty behavior while you’re not looking. Chewing on Christmas lights can lead to electric shock and also mouth burns for your pet. 

Don’t let your dog drink the water at the base of the tree. 

The other aspect of bringing a real Christmas tree into your house is your supply of Christmas tree water at the base of your tree. If your tree was not grown organically, chances are it could have been sprayed with pesticides, preservatives, fertilizers, or other agents. These chemicals can get into the water, and you don’t want your dog drinking that. Surprisingly, Christmas tree “water enhancers” like aspirin, soda, bleach, or corn syrup are commonly added to tree water to keep trees from shedding needles, and if you add any of these to your Christmas tree water, you don’t want your dog drinking that either. A covered tree water dish or a tree skirt that conceals the water may be a smart idea. 

Keep your pet’s personal water bowl fresh and full to discourage them from drinking from underneath your Christmas tree.  

Are artificial Christmas trees any safer for dogs? 

You won’t want your pet to be ingesting artificial Christmas tree limbs, either. Our advice is this: celebrate the holiday season in whatever way makes you most merry. Keep an eye on your pet and keep them away from your Christmas tree(s), ornaments, strings of lights, tinsel, or other tree-adorning decorations. A simple low-lattice fence may be a good idea if you have an especially curious pup. Or, set up your Christmas tree in a room that has a door you can close. 

From all of us here at Sir Dogwood...we wish you a happy holiday and a floof-filled new year! 

P.S. If you need any festive holiday/winter wear for your dog, check out our super cozy Ho Ho Ho Turtleneck Sweater from Max Bone. It’s guaranteed to amp up your holiday cheer!  

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