A dog sitting on a chair in front of a Christmas tree.

There is nothing better than spending the holiday season surrounded by loved ones – especially your furry family members! As holiday décor is added to decorate your home, keep your dog’s safety in mind as there are a few hazards you may not be aware of.  Keep the whole family safe and in the holiday spirit with these helpful decorating safety tips 


Candles can provide a warm and cozy atmosphere around the holidays, but they can also be a hazard in a home with a dog. From wagging tails to rambunctious puppy energy, candles can easily be knocked over and cause bigger problems. Keep candles out of reach of dogs (and their tails) and far from any flammable decorations to ensure your house is safe and secure this holiday season. 

Still interested in using candles without the concern of starting a fire? There are a variety of flameless candle options available which eliminate the concern of a house fire. You can enjoy the beauty of the candle without the flame! 


Let there be light this holiday season! If you plan to string up lights as a part of your holiday decorating, please keep your pets in mind. Dogs may want to chew on the wire if located in an easily accessible area, so keep all string lights off the floor and away from an area your dog may be able to reach. Lastly, please tuck the end of your extension cord away from your dog to avoid any concern of an electrical shock. 

Christmas Tree 

Christmas trees are a holiday staple, but for pet owners, they can be an area of concern. If there is an energetic dog in the home who likes to jump, keep an eye on them while there is a Christmas tree in the room, so they don’t jump into the tree or push it over. A fallen Christmas tree can result in a hefty tangle of lights and broken ornaments which can be a hazard to pups and pet parents alike. 

If you are unable to supervise your dog for a quick outing or errand, keep your dog in another room far from the Christmas tree to ensure you don’t return home to a festive mess. 

“Edible” Ornaments 

Many celebrate the holidays with family traditions which may include crafting homemade ornaments. Although your dog may not enjoy creating them, they might enjoy trying to eat them. Let’s make sure this is not the case this holiday season. Most homemade ornaments are made from sugar and toxins, especially if the DIY ornaments include glue. If you want to maintain your tradition of creating your own holiday ornaments, consider hanging them higher on the Christmas tree to remain out of reach of your dog.  

Chemical Preservatives 

We all want our Christmas tree to last throughout the entire holiday season and sometimes, a preservative in the tree’s water will allow you to do just that. However, many preservatives can be toxic and poisonous to dogs. If you bring a real Christmas tree into your home for the holidays, refrain from adding preservatives to the water, especially if you have a dog in your home. Fresh water will keep your tree alive all season long without the concern of your dog being harmed by taking a lick. 

If you plan to continue to use a preservative or simply want to keep your dog out of the Christmas tree’s water source, cover it with a tree skirt, aluminum foil, blanket, towel, or plastic wrap to keep it out of your dog’s reach. 

Holly Berries 

Holly berries can be a beautiful decoration during this festive time of year, but they should not be ingested. If your dog ingests a large amount of holly berries, they can experience gastrointestinal and nervous system issues. If you plan to decorate with holly, please keep it out of your dog’s reach. 


Tinsel may interest your dog because of its shiny appearance; however, it should be kept far away from pets. This holiday favorite is dangerous to dogs if ingested as it can cause intestinal obstructions and could potentially be fatal. 

As we begin preparing our homes for the holidays, let’s keep all our family members’ safety top of mind – this includes our dogs! Avoid unnecessary vet visits by dog-proofing your decorations to have a merry, bright and safe holiday season.  

Finishing up your holiday errands and don’t want to leave your dog at home unattended with the holiday décor? Drop your dog off at Dogtopia for a day of daycare with our professionally trained teams! They’ll love spending the day with other like-minded pups and you’ll love wrapping up your holiday shopping free of concern. Find a Dogtopia daycare near you just in time for the holidays!