Three trainer-approved tips to keep your dog safe around the Christmas tree

Dog lying down with Santa hat between his teeth and Christmas tree in the background
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Unless specifically stated, any expert comments quoted in this news piece have been taken directly from the Instagram post cited below.

Does your dog love your Christmas tree a little too much? If so, you may be wondering how to let them join in on all the holiday fun without compromising their safety. 

While there are plenty of reasons not to get a puppy for Christmas (all the noise, excitement and decorations can make it a bad time to try to get them settled into their new environment), if you already have a canine companion, you may be wondering how to keep them happy and healthy throughout the holidays.

Christmas can be a magical time with all those shimmering ornaments and festive twinkling lights — and dogs can find it all just as enchanting as we humans can.

Because of that, it can be super challenging at times to keep dogs away from the Christmas tree, which is why taking safety precautions is so important.

With that in mind, Amy Jensen, the founder and trainer behind the Baxter & Bella Puppy School, has shared an Instagram post with a few tips that are worth keeping in mind this holiday season. 

Spoiler alert: You'll want a bag of the best dog treats handy for this! 

1. Have a management plan: "Set up a baby gate to the room your tree is in or place an exercise pen around the tree to prevent access to your tree," Jensen recommends.

2. Train your dog: "Set up a doggy bed nearby for them to lay on without bothering the tree," advises Jensen. "Also, teach your dog leave it and generalize that behavior to the tree."

3. Anticipate good behavior and reward well: "Watch for the good behavior and pay your dog for it! Think one step ahead of your dog. Don’t wait for them to go to the tree. Try to engage them in better behavior before you are dealing with unwanted consequences. Reward for good behavior so they choose that instead," says Jensen. 

Now that you know how to keep your dog safe around the Christmas tree, be sure to check out this guide to antlers for dogs, where a vet weighs in on the pros and cons of this popular festive gift for pups. 

Kathryn Williams
Freelance writer

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has been a member of the PetsRadar family since it launched in 2020. Highly experienced in her field, she's driven by a desire to provide pet parents with accurate, timely, and informative content that enables them to provide their fur friends with everything they need to thrive. Kathryn works closely with vets and trainers to ensure all articles offer the most up-to-date information across a range of pet-related fields, from insights into health and behavior issues to tips on products and training. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with her family (which includes one super sassy cat), drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.