Pet-proof your Christmas tree with these 7 helpful tips

a pet under a Christmas tree with a red hanging bauble

A Christmas tree is beautiful… until, of course, your pet jumps on it and drags it down! Then decorations fall off, baubles shatter and the carpet is suddenly full of pine needles. Don’t worry though: we’ve got seven tips so this scenario remains imaginary.

Pet-proof your Christmas tree with these tricks and keep pesky pets away from it.

Pets and trees are not always the safest combination. So fitted furniture experts at are offering their hacks for keeping festive decorations safe over the festive period. 

A picture containing dog, indoor, looking, headDescription automatically generated
Pet-proof your Christmas tree by keeping Fido well away from it. Photography: Pexels.

Not only does your cat or dog climbing the tree cause annoyance. The well-loved Christmas centrepiece can also be dangerous for our four-legged friends. 

Needles and pines from real trees may puncture a pet’s digestive tract when swallowed. While decoration and lights on false trees can burn, electrocute, or puncture the paws of animals. 

Tips include avoiding lights on the base of the tree, staying away from tinsel and using scented pinecones as deterrents.

a puppy in front of a tree with lights on
Make sure you secure your Christmas tree lights. Photography: iStock / EllenMoran.

Ways to keep Rover away from your gorgeous centrepiece

Nic Shacklock from gave her advice: “The last thing families want to do is spend the whole month of December trying to get their cat off the tree or their dog away from the presents underneath it. This is why we wanted to share our top tips with animal lovers. So they can keep their trees intact and their pets happy at the same time.

“Things like avoiding stringing lights near the base of your tree and avoiding breakable baubles may seem obvious. But they can quickly be forgotten when caught up in the festive spirit. However, it’s super important with all decorations during Christmas to ensure you’re not posing any danger to your four-legged friends.”

So here are’s seven top tips to pet-proof your Christmas tree.

a ginger cat asleep on a couple's lap - the couple are wearing red and white Christmas socks and there is a lit Christmas tree in the background
Aww! While Tigger’s asleep, why not pet-proof your Christmas tree? Photography: iStock / Irina Gutyryak.

Pet-proof your Christmas tree: Secure lights

Christmas tree lights can add a bit of magic to your tree but can be dangerous for your pets. Lights may get extremely hot and burn a small pet interested in getting a closer look. They can also cause electric shocks to little ones nibbling on the wires. If you are keen on stringing lights on your tree, make sure to only string them from about halfway up. Of course, this depends on the size of your pet. 

Any other Christmas lights around the house should be secured to the wall where possible. This will avoid them dangling close to the ground.

a stripy cat in a Christmas tree decorated with gold bows and red baubles
This is the kind of thing you want to avoid. Photography: iStock / Siarhei SHUNTSIKAU.

Delay putting presents under the tree

It is best to delay putting gifts under the tree until Christmas eve or Christmas morning if possible. This way, you are removing additional temptation for your pet. You’re also avoiding the heartbreak of finding your perfectly wrapped presents torn apart by your dog or cat.

Place the tree above ground level

For those with smaller dogs, consider placing your tree on a small table. This may just be enough to keep your pup away from causing any damage to the decorations or themselves.

a dog and a cat on a red tartan blanket in front of a brightly lit Christmas tree
These two spell trouble! Photography: TatyanaGI.

Pet-proof your Christmas tree: Spray pine cones

Add some deterrent decorations: spray apple cider vinegar on a few pine cones and place them at the base of your tree. The smell will keep pets away without the need for any large or non-aesthetically pleasing barriers. 

Pet-proof your Christmas tree: Isolate your tree

One of the best things you can do to deter a pesky pet is to place your tree in a room which can be sectioned off from the rest of the house. Make this a room that your pet doesn’t spend lots of time in alone to make it an easier transition for you and your family. 

Pet-proof your Christmas tree: Secure all decorations

Pets love to play with toys, and cats enjoy making toys out of everything in their way – hanging tree decorations included. Avoid the heartbreak of finding your favourite bauble broken on the floor. Carefully secure all tree decorations with twine, strong string or wire. 

Smashed baubles can also cause a serious concern for your pet’s paws. If possible, skip any breakable decorations completely to prevent potential danger for your four-legged friend. 

a large cat sitting on a gold cushion and playing with Christmas decorations, with a Christmas tree decorated with gold baubles in the background
We don’t fancy that star’s chances! Photography: iStock / Anna-av.

Pet-proof your Christmas tree: Avoid tinsel

Tinsel is widely known as a symbol of festive cheer. However, adding it to your tree might be the reason your pet is attracted to it. Tinsel means pets often spend the whole of December trying to climb and attack the tree you spent so much time putting together. The shiny material is like catnip and encourages them to climb, jump and attach themselves to your Christmas tree. 

two brown and white dogs, one standing on a gold cushion, looking up at a Christmas tree full of gold baubles
They’re wondering why there’s no tinsel on the tree. Photography: iStock / Anna-av.

Featured image: iStock / golero.

So, did you enjoy this article? If you have a dog, here’s a feature on how to keep your pooch happy.

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