How your Christmas tree could be harming your dog

December’s here for many, with it, comes Christmas trees and a host of colourful decorations. Whether it’s a real or artificial tree, these holiday fixtures can pose some serious health hazards to man’s best friend.

Here are some potential dangers of to be aware of:

Real Christmas Trees

The branches of real trees aren’t actually toxic when chewed on by dogs, but they can give them an irritated mouth and upset stomach. The needles on the other hand, can cause severe damage to your dog’s insides if ingested, including punctures and blockages in their digestive system.

If your tree is stood in water, your dog might also be tempted to take a drink and can be made ill from the chemicals, fertilisers, and potentially even bacteria that have developed in it. Not only that, but if pine needles have fallen onto the floor, they can get stuck in their paws and eyes, and cause a lot of discomfort.

So it might be worth investing in a real tree that has a low rate needle drop such as the Nordman Fir, or even an artificial tree. Although…

Artificial Christmas Trees

Artificial tree branches are free of some of the harmful oils that are present in real ones. But, they are still made of damaging materials and plastics that shouldn’t be eaten by dogs, as they won’t be able to digest them. This is also the case for many plastic-based decorations, which you should aim to place higher up on your tree – out of reach of your canine.

For more ideas on how to dog-proof your tree, check out these tips by Rover.com.

Other Festive Foliage

Adorning your home with bunches of holly can certainly make it appear like it is straight out of a Christmas card. But, it can also make your dog very sick if ingested. The same goes for mistletoe, which is also poisonous to dogs, so be sure to keep it up high and out of reach. If you are worried that your dog might have had a bite of either of these plants, it’s worth taking them straight to the vet – early symptoms they might exhibit can include vomiting, diarrhoea and lethargy (and for confusion and other strange behaviour in the case of mistletoe).

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Written by Tom Page