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5 Christmas Safety Tips For Dogs

See 5 Expert Tips On Keeping Your Dog Safe During Christmas
Published Friday, December 16, 2022 by Elena R.

The holiday season is a time for celebration, but it can also be a stressful and dangerous time for our furry friends. From decorations and visitors to changes in routine, there are many potential hazards that can put your dog at risk. Here are some tips to help keep your dog safe and stress-free during the Christmas season. 

Identification Is Important 

dog wearing a round name tag

First and foremost, make sure your dog is properly identified. This means they should have a collar with up-to-date identification tags. It's a good idea to microchip them as well. If your dog happens to escape or get lost during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, having the proper identification will greatly increase the chances of them being returned to you safely. This is one thing that you should check off the list to ensure both you and your dog have a stress-free and safe Christmas. Furthermore, you can instruct your guests to be mindful of your dog, especially when it comes to leaving the front door open. 

RELATED: Your Puppy's First Christmas 

Decorations Can Spell Disaster For Your Dog 

dog sniffing a Christmas wreath

Next, be mindful of holiday decorations and treats. Tinsel, ribbons, and other small decorations can be dangerous if ingested by your dog, as they can cause intestinal blockages. Similarly, chocolate and other sweets are toxic to dogs, so be sure to keep them out of reach. It's also a good idea to keep your dog away from the Christmas tree, as the water in the tree stand can contain harmful bacteria, and the lights and ornaments can be tempting for your dog to chew on. 

Resisting the temptation of all the globes and ornaments in the Christmas tree is something most dogs can’t do, which is why it’s also best to have a gate in place around your tree. This will help limit the area around your tree where your dog has access. 


small dog in a Christmas sweater wearing a red leash

With all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it's important to maintain your dog's routine as much as possible. This means sticking to their regular feeding and exercise schedule and providing them with plenty of opportunities for mental and physical stimulation. If you're expecting visitors, be sure to introduce them to your dog slowly and give them a safe space to retreat to if they become overwhelmed. 

Changes in routine can cause dogs quite a bit of stress on a regular Monday, let alone during a busy time such as Christmas when friends and family come over and there is a lot of cooking and decorating going on. This time can become very stressful and tiring for your dog, which is why you might notice them napping more. Ideally, you should have an area ready for your dog to nap in away from the guests and the holiday excitement.  

It's important to keep in mind that dogs don’t register the Christmas excitement the way humans do. You might find joy in all the excitement of Christmas day, but your dog may not. This can be a very stressful time for your fur baby and it’s up to you to ensure they also have a good time. 

RELATED: 5 Fun Christmas Activities Your Dog Will Love 

Fireworks Are Scary To Dogs 

two hands holding a dog's long ears up

It's also a good idea to prepare for the possibility of fireworks. Many dogs are afraid of loud noises, and fireworks can be particularly frightening. If your dog is scared of fireworks, try to keep them inside during fireworks displays, and provide them with plenty of comfort and reassurance. It may also be helpful to turn on some background noise, such as a TV or radio, to help drown out the sound of the fireworks. 

The same applies to music and other sounds that are not typically as loud during your dog’s day-to-day life. Any changes in sound can cause your dog to become stressed, especially given their sensitive hearing. To avoid this kind of stress for your dog, it’s best to find a quieter place inside your home for your dog to relax and be away from all the noise.  


Frenchie dog wearing Christmas lights spending quality time with its owners

Set aside some extra time to spend with your dog. The holidays can be a busy time, but make sure to set aside some extra time for your furry friend. Spend some extra time playing with them, giving them extra belly rubs, or just cuddling on the couch. They'll appreciate the extra attention and love. 

This is something that many owners tend to overlook during the holidays. It's also one of the things that causes the most stress to our furry friends. Dogs are used to a certain level of attention from their owners, and taking that away from them even for a day, will likely cause them stress. 

Finally, remember that the holiday season is a time for celebration, but it's important to not overdo it. Alcohol and other substances can be toxic to dogs, so be sure to keep them out of reach. It's also important to not feed your dog too many treats, as this can lead to obesity and other health problems. Ideally, you should also instruct your guests to refrain from treating your dog to Christmas food.  

RELATED: Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Dog 


In conclusion, the holiday season can be a fun and joyous time for both you and your dog, but it's important to be mindful of the potential hazards and keep your dog safe and stress-free. By following these tips and using common sense, you can ensure that your dog has a happy and healthy holiday season. 

Scroll down to see FAQs about Christmas safety tips for dogs!

Elena R.

About The Author

Elena is a leading expert in the field of dog behavior, care, and training, with over a decade of experience in writing about dogs. As a published writer and lifelong dog enthusiast, Elena currently shares her home with three beloved canine companions. She is dedicated to staying up to date on the latest advancements in dog care and training, ensuring that her articles provide readers with accurate and valuable insights. With her extensive knowledge and passion for all things canine, Elena's contributions to the Premier Pups community offer both expertise and authority on a wide range of dog-related topics.
Elena R. - Author Photo

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can Christmas trees make dogs sick? Yes. Whether the tree is real or made of plastic, it is dangerous for dogs. Real Christmas trees have fir oils that can be poisonous to dogs. The pins and needles of a live tree can also be dangerous when ingested. They can puncture a dog’s stomach, get stuck on a dog’s paws or muzzle.

Are Christmas cactus poisonous to dogs? No, the Christmas Cactus plant is safe for dogs. It doesn’t contain any poisonous substances and is also safe for humans, cats, and other pets.

Are Christmas trees poisonous to dogs? Christmas trees can be poisonous to dogs when ingested, whether they are real or made up of plastic. The oils in real Christmas trees are harmful to dogs. They can irritate a dog’s stomach and cause diarrhea and vomiting. The pins of a real or fake Christmas tree can also be dangerous to dogs when ingested. They can puncture a dog’s stomach, cause irritation, and get stuck on a dog’s paws, muzzle, or skin.

What Christmas dinner can dogs eat? There are very few safe Christmas dinners that dogs can eat, especially when they are not made specifically for our four-legged friends. These typically include boiled meat and vegetables. Other items on the Christmas dinner menu are most likely not dog friendly.

Do dogs understand Christmas? The short answer is no, dogs don’t understand Christmas, not as humans do. For some dogs, Christmas is a time for excitement, especially if they are the center of attention. For others, it may be a stressful time when their routines change and they get less attention from their owners.