Christmas dog safetyWhile Christmas is an exciting time of year for the family, it can be both stressful and potentially dangerous for your pet and, so it is important that you pay special attention to ensure your pet stays happy and healthy this Christmas.

Here are our top tips:

Christmas Trees:

While Christmas trees look festive they are not very pet friendly. Firstly, the water in your tree stand can become stagnant and if your pet drinks it, it can make them very ill. Some pets may find flashing lights on trees distressing and stressful and may want to pull or play with tree decorations. Always anchor your Christmas tree to ensure it does not topple over and hurt them. Edible decorations such as popcorn garlands, candy sticks and chocolate decorations are not advised and should never be left in reach of your pets. Having them on the tree will also encourage them to jump and try and reach them.

Leave lower branches without decorations and avoid glass ornaments because pets may try and bite them and also if they break, the shards could easily injure their paws. Tinsel and silver strands on the tree can be enticing for your pet but can cause bowel obstructions if they eat them.


The same dangerous bowel obstructions may occur if your pet ingests wrapping paper or ribbons. When wrapping presents keep your pets out of the way and if you’ve got a very inquisitive pet who might try and eat wrapping on presents then it may be advisable to keep the presents out of sight or somehow ring fence your Christmas tree and your presents, so the pet can’t get to them.

Pets should be given pet toys – children’s toys will not adhere to pet safety standards and could prove hazardous.


Holly, poinsettia and mistletoe are all common Christmas plants; however, they are all poisonous and extremely toxic for your pet. Never leave them accessible to your pet.


Candles adorn many of our homes over Christmas, but wagging tails from excited dogs can mean they are easily knocked over and can prove a fire risk.

Guests: Houses full of excitable people can be extremely stressful for your pet. Children can be overpowering, desperately wanting to stroke and pester them. The additional stress of unfamiliar noises, people, and over stimulation, can cause them to snap. Be very sensitive as to when your pet needs a break. Remind guests not to feed your pets any scraps, particularly avoiding bones and ensure chocolate is always well out of reach.

For more information on helping your pet if they are poisoned, please click here to download our ebook.

A little forward planning can ensure your Christmas is exciting and memorable for all the right reasons.

Make sure you’ve stocked your pet first aid kit.

Click here to read our article on what to put in your Dog First Aid kit.


First Aid for Pets provides this information for guidance and it is not in any way a substitute for veterinary advice. The author does not accept any liability or responsibility for any inaccuracies or for any mistreatment or misdiagnosis of any person or animal, however caused. It is strongly advised that you attend a practical First Aid for Pets course or take our online course to understand what to do in a medical emergency.

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