Your holiday tree looks beautiful and festive but it can also be very attractive to dogs and cats. It doesn’t matter if your tree is alive or artificial — pets will be drawn to it and can potentially be harmed by the decorations on it or by the tree itself. Ornaments can be knocked off and broken (a problem in itself) and the pieces possibly consumed by pets, which can make them sick or worse. In addition, pine tree needles are indigestible and sharp and can cause digestive problems. Then there’s the tree stand full of water to worry about; pets should not drink the water in the tree stand. Keep pets away from your tree by using a barricade or pet gate around the tree, or block access to the room itself, if possible.
Secure the tree to the wall or ceiling using string or wire and an eyebolt to keep the tree from being knocked over by adventurous cats or rowdy dogs. You can use this safety feature and easily hide it so that it doesn’t detract from your tree’s appearance.
Don’t place the tree in high-traffic areas where it could get knocked over by pets or where they have easy access to electrical cords. Trees are usually best placed in a corner or in front of a window for optimum decorative effect.
If you can’t keep pets away from the tree, choose ornaments carefully. Avoid using those made of glass or other easily breakable material or put those ornaments high up on the tree out of reach. Avoid using popcorn strings, cookies, real candy canes and other edible items to decorate the tree. Tinsel and ribbons are out as well. If pets ingest these, they can block their digestive systems and lead to potential injury and expensive surgery.
Other holiday plants such as holly, poinsettia and mistletoe are toxic to pets as well. So, keep those up high or remove them completely when in doubt.