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Spending hours setting up and decorating your Christmas tree is always a festive pleasure. But then you go out for a few hours and come home to find that your dog has completely destroyed the tree. It’s a Christmas tradition—but it doesn’t have to be.
Christmas trees can be a bit of a headache for pet parents. Not only is there the distinct chance that your pet might destroy the Christmas tree, but depending on what your tree and decorations are made of, they can also be a problem if your pet decides to eat any of the foliage or ornaments.
For this reason, the best thing you can do is keep your dog away from the Christmas tree— a feat that is admittedly easier said than done.
One of the best things you can do to keep your tree safe from your dog, and your dog safe from your tree, is to fence off the tree and make it a dog-free zone. To that end, we have put together a list of the four best dog fences for protecting your Christmas tree.
But if that is not possible, we have also put together a list of other top tips to deter your dog from attacking your Christmas tree and for making sure that your Christmas tree isn’t hazardous for your dog.
With a few precautionary measures, you can have a happy and safe Christmas with no children crying over destroyed presents, or emergency trips to the vet.
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4 Best Christmas Free Fences For Dogs
Those little white picket fence barriers that you see around shopping mall Christmas trees are purely decorative and aren’t going to have what it takes to keep a determined dog out. For this, you need a proper dog barrier, like the four options we have chosen below.
If you are able to close off the whole room where you have put your Christmas tree, presents, and other decorations, this attractive fence from Primetime Petz is a great choice.
- Doorway gate
- 80 inches wide
- 36 inches tall
This sturdy fence, made from furniture-grade wood, won’t be easily toppled or damaged by your pup. It can cover a doorway or opening up to 80 inches wide, and it has a gate that opens both ways, so humans can pass through easily.
Available in walnut or white depending on your aesthetic preference, you can also purchase more than one if you prefer to create a small enclosure around your Christmas tree as will clip together with other gates.
- Sturdy, furniture-grade material
- Can be combined with other gates to create an enclosed space
- Best if you can block off an entire room
If you are looking for an effective way to keep your dog out of the room that has been turned over to Christmas, this attractive gate does an excellent job.
This is another flexible gate solution that can be used either to block off an entire room of your home, or create a small penned-off area to keep your Christmas tree safe from your dog.
- Doorway gate
- 80 inches wide
- 31.5 inches high
This is one of the sturdier home barriers for pets, made from top-quality wood and extra tall at 31.5 inches. The fence has a swing door for humans, and stabilizing feet for extra security.
If you want to fence off a space rather than a room, the gate can also be folded up into a small cage, with two extra rods included for extra stability. This might be a bit small for your average Christmas tree, but you can also combine two fences of the same design to make a larger enclosed area.
- Can be used as a room barrier or to create an enclosed space
- Extra tall for larger dogs
- Will probably need more than one fence to create an enclosed space large enough for a Christmas tree
This gate is both functional and flexible, so you have a number of options at your disposal when it comes to preventing pup-related Christmas tree disasters.
If you know that you need to enclose your Christmas tree, and you want something affordable, this fence from Evenflo is a great choice.
- Enclosing barrier fence
- 18.5 square feet enclosed
- 28 inches tall
This fence is actually designed to create a playpen for children, but it is strong and sturdy enough to manage dogs. However, it is better when used to keep a dog out of a certain area than to try to keep them in.
You can cover up to 18.5 square feet with a single affordable fence, which should be enough for even the largest Christmas trees. You can remove a panel to diminish the space covered. The fence is available in grey, cream, or multi-color to match your Christmas style.
- Ideal for fencing off a designated area
- Covers a large area and is adjustable
If you want to be able to fence off your Christmas tree from your dog without spending a fortune, repurpose this versatile playpen for children as a protective barrier.
Ideally, you want to be able to protect your Christmas tree from your dog without having to put anything up around your tree. That is actually possible with this invisible radio fence from PetSafe.
We are not advocates of the invisible radio fence. However, we wanted to include it as an option to make for a more complete review of Christmas tree fences to deter your dog.
- Radio fence
- Static correction
- 2- to 10-foot radius
This radio fence allows you to designate a circular space ranging from a 2- to 10-foot radius as off-limits for your dog. Just place the transmitter in the center of the space that you want to protect and choose your setting.
Your dog will then need to wear a compatible PetSafe radio collar that beeps when they get too close to the designated space, warning them that they should keep their distance. If they do choose to move into the space, they will then receive a mild static shock for 15 seconds, so they learn that the area is out of bounds.
This is the perfect solution if you don’t want to compromise the aesthetics of your home with a barrier.
However, your dog will need to be trained regarding what is required of them when they hear the beeps, so there is a little bit of time investment to get this invisible barrier working.
- Invisible indoor barrier
- Has both a warning signal and a correctional signal
- Requires training to be effective
If you are looking for an invisible way to fence off your Christmas tree, there is no better option than this radio fence from PetSafe.
We are not advocates of the invisible fence
Other Tips For Protecting Your Christmas Tree
If a Christmas tree fence is not practical, or simply not enough to keep your dog out, there are a number of other things that you can do to (1) discourage your dog from getting too close to the tree, and (2) minimize the risks to your pooch and the potential damage to your home if they do get into mischief.
Use A Heavy Christmas Tree Stand
Ideally, you want to use a Christmas tree stand that is heavy enough that your dog won’t be able to push it over with ease. This reduces the likelihood of the whole tree tumbling over if your dog accidentally runs into it or falls against it.
Consider What Tree You Get
If you have a dog, avoid getting a type of Christmas tree with pine needles. The sharp needles can get in your dog’s eyes, ears, and paws, and also do internal damage if swallowed.
The oil of fir trees can also be mildly toxic to dogs if they have enough contact with it. It can cause them to drool excessively and have an upset stomach.
You might want to consider getting a fake tree, as they tend to be much softer—but not if your dog likes to eat the tree. Swallowing those little plastic leaves won’t do them any good.
Leave Your Tree Bare For A Few Days
If you aren’t sure how your dog is going to react to the Christmas tree, set up the tree but then leave it bare for a few days. This can help you gauge their interest in the tree.
It also lets them get used to having the tree there for a few days before you add the additional excitement of balls and lights. This means they will be less likely to attack the tree once it is fully decorated.
Consider Your Decorations Carefully
Decorating your tree with care can make a big difference in how much potential destruction your dog can do.
For example, they are likely to do more damage to the bottom of the tree than to the higher branches, so place fragile and favorite decorations further up.
If you have lights, make sure the power cord isn’t anywhere that your dog can get caught up in it and pull the whole tree down.
It is also a good idea to avoid edible decorations such as gingerbread men that will attract your dog’s attention. Never put candy canes on the tree when you have a pup, as candy canes can be potentially life-threatening to dogs.
Don’t Keep Presents Under The Tree
Don’t keep presents under the tree especially if there is food inside. Dogs have a super sense of smell and that box of chocolates under the tree may equal a visit to your emergency vet.
Just like your dog might do damage to your tree, you don’t want them getting into any Christmas presents that have been placed under it. Have a safe place to store Christmas presents until you are ready to share and open them, and when your dog can be supervised.
Don’t forget to get a present for your pup as well. You’ll find some great doggy gift ideas here.
Put A Deterring Material On The Floor
You can try to deter your pup from getting too close to your tree by putting something on the floor that they won’t like to walk on.
For example, most dogs (and cats) don’t like to walk on aluminum, anything sticky, or anything that feels too uncomfortable underfoot.
Spray The Tree With A Deterring Scent
You can also spray the tree with a scent that your dog won’t like, to deter your pup from getting too close. They tend not to like strong smells such as peppermint, hot chili, citrus fruits, and strong household cleaners.
How Do I Keep My Dog Away From The Christmas Tree?
The best way to keep your dog away from the Christmas tree is to create a barrier they can’t pass. This might mean placing a fence around the tree, blocking off an entire room, or using an invisible barrier to warn them off getting too close.
You can also do other things to discourage their interest in the tree. This could include placing something on the floor under the tree that they won’t enjoy walking or sitting on, or spraying the tree with a deterring scent.
What Can I Spray On My Christmas Tree To Keep My Dog Off?
Dogs are generally turned off by strong scents, so spraying the tree with a concentrated scent such as peppermint, hot chili, or citrus fruits might put them off getting too close. How effective this is depends very much on the dog.
Are Real Christmas Trees Toxic To Dogs?
The oils that fir trees give off can be mildly toxic to dogs if they have sufficient contact with them. It is best to avoid trees that have pine needles, as these sharp pieces of foliage can easily hurt dogs if they get in their eyes or paws, or if they are accidentally swallowed.
What Happens If My Dog Eats The Christmas Tree?
How worried you should be if your dog eats the Christmas tree depends on what exactly they consumed, but it is probably worth a trip to the vet.
Fir trees can be mildly toxic to dogs if they ingest enough of its natural oils. Pine needles are also a health hazard, as these sharps can puncture the esophagus and intestines on the way down.
If your dog eats a lot of plastic, either because they eat a fake tree or lots of decorations, this also isn’t great for them. They will likely start vomiting and have diarrhea as they try to expel the foreign bodies, or be constipated as they block proper digestion.
Finally, if your dog eats any of the Christmas candies that may have been hanging on the tree, this can be a major concern. Many human sweets contain a sugar substitute called xylitol. This is toxic to dogs, and even a small amount can cause severe seizures and liver failure. For this reason, if you have a dog, it is best to keep all edibles off the tree.
Which Is Better When You Have Pets, A Real Or Fake Christmas Tree?
As a general rule, it is better to have a real tree with pets in the house. Real trees tend to be heavier than plastic substitutes, so they are harder for animals to knock over. Also, if your pet decides to start eating the foliage off the tree, you don’t want them eating plastic.
That said, it is best to avoid trees that have pine needles. These sharp needles can find their ways into pet eyes, ears, and paws, and be quite painful. They also won’t do your pet’s esophagus and intestines any favors if they swallow them.
While decorating the house with Christmas cheer is generally a fun time for most people, it can be stressful for pet owners. It just means more things around the house for the dog to destroy, choke on, or accidentally eat. Precautions do need to be taken.
When it comes to the all-important Christmas tree, the best thing you can do is keep your dog out of the vicinity of the tree with a barrier.
This could be an invisible barrier with an electronic collar, a small barrier around the entire Christmas tree, or blocking off an entire room that plays host to your tree for the few weeks around Christmas.
Whatever you want to do, you should be able to find a viable barrier option among our list of top picks.
We have also put together a list of tips for other things you can do to discourage your dog’s interest in your tree, and make it a bit safer for everyone if they do decide to make the tree their newest play toy.
The past few years at our home we’ve had a dual purpose child gate that protects the living room area from kids escaping and from dogs entering. We put our tree in this area where it’s safe from our curious pups.
How do you secure your tree from your dog at Christmas time?
Share your ideas with the community in the comments section below.
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4 Best Christmas Tree Fences For Dogs – How To Keep Your Dog Away From The Tree was last modified: November 18th, 2020 by