Close this search box.

Are Christmas Trees Toxic to Dogs?

are dogs allergic to Christmas trees

Are dogs really allergic to Christmas Trees?

Not allergic, which is a common misconception. But Christmas trees can certainly be dangerous to dogs.

The Christmas season is a time to be jolly and have fun with your loved ones, including the man’s best friend.

Having an injured pet is the least of your concerns, given the many tasks ahead of you in the holiday season, from decorating the house to planning the seasonal activities that always seem endless.

To make it worse, a Christmas tree could even be fatal to your dog if not attended to on time. We’ll explain more.

How are Christmas Trees Toxic to Dogs?

In several ways, all that laughter and Christmas splendor could come to a halt as you all divert your attention to the injured pet.

Here are different ways that the Christmas tree could harm the dog:

  • Pine needles
  • Tree water
  • Decorations

Pine Needles

The needles that dominate your Christmas tree are appealing to the eye. Once your dog eats them, chances are they will be ingested and not toxic.

However that’s not always the case; your dog could hurt the gastrointestinal tract due to their sharp edges and the tree oils that come with them.

The needles could also irritate the mouth, making the pet uncomfortable and irritable.

The dog will show signs of abdominal pain, vomiting, blood in the stool, and uneasiness for a ruptured gastrointestinal tract.

For an artificial tree, check out for similar signs from the dog as the plastic is not digestible, meaning if the dog does not poop it out or vomit, it may cause issues.

The paws are another area where the needles get stuck once your dog steps on them. Again, they cause sharp pain, making them quite uncomfortable and failure to address the injury on time could lead to an infection.

Christmas Tree water

Unknown to many, the water from the tree could hurt your dog. How? If the dog consumes water that may contain unknown pesticides and herbicides, then it will be affected.

The water from the tree could even contain traces of fertilizer that may prove to be toxic once the dog consumes.

Decorations & Ornaments

I know you want to decorate your Christmas tree in a way to outdo all the previous years. That’s fine. My only concern is that as you decorate, ensure that you have your dog in mind.

The way the decorations are appealing to you, the same way your dog will be excited by the lights and all the other decorations. Ensure that she doesn’t consume them as this would bring the celebrations to an end as you try to rescue her from the light cords, tinsels, and ornaments she just consumed, and now they have blocked her gastrointestinal tract.

These decorations aren’t digestible that means if the dog doesn’t vomit them, they pose a threat to the whole digestive system, making the dog irritable and painful.

Now that you know the extent of the threat that your Christmas poses to your dog, you have to take precautionary measures to ensure it doesn’t happen.

How to Protect Your Dog from Christmas Tree Hazards

No one looks forward to interrupted Christmas festivities. To ensure you don’t spend your Christmas at the Pets’ emergency clinic, implement the following:

Cover the Tree Water

Cover the water source to ensure that your dog doesn’t consume the contaminated water from the tree. This way, your dog has no access to the potentially harmful water.

Create a Pet Barrier

Do you care for the dog and her safety? Then, go the extra mile to secure the Christmas tree to a certain area in your house.

Don’t feel sorry for your dog as she watches the decorations from a distance. She is safer that way.

The Needles

For the needles, it’s a long shot, especially if you have an energetic, curious dog who just got excited to have the tree within the vicinity.

You could lock the dog in her crate as you set up the tree. This means that your dog won’t chew the pine needles that were strewn all over as you were setting up.

If you spot your dog chewing up the pine needles on time, get her out of the site, don’t let the dog consume the needles. The needles can harm your dog’s GI tract, and the oils irritate the mouth.

Christmas Tree Lights

Some dogs get excited by the lights and attempt to chew on the cords that connect them. To prevent your dog from an electric shock, tape them tightly to the wall. Also, check out for tears on the electric cables you connect to the tree, as chewing on the wires could harm the dog.

Ever heard of pulmonary edema? It means that the lungs get filled up with fluids, and in dogs, this can be caused by your dog chewing on electric cables.


When choosing ornaments for your Christmas tree, go for dog-friendly ones. Avoid things such as low-hanging glass ornaments that your explorative dog can easily knock down and chew.

Picture this; your dog knocks down the beautiful glass ornaments that get broken, she steps on it while trying to get hold of it, and now a chunk of it is stuck on her paws! It’s awful to even think of.

Some of these ornaments are made from lethal substances that can easily turn toxic to your dog once consumed. They could even cause a gastrointestinal blockage on your dog.

Artificial Trees

While we can’t advocate for artificial or natural Christmas trees, take caution on artificial trees as they age.

What happens is that the now loose plastic becomes brittle and falls off. Once your dog consumes the pieces, they become hazardous and could even block their intestinal tract.

The Bottom Line

Are Christmas trees toxic to dogs? Yes, and you can prevent it from happening. Secure your tree in a safe place with minimal traffic, train your dog to resist the temptation of eating decorations. Alert everyone who is home for Christmas to keep an eye on your dog. Enjoy your Christmas without the unnecessary disruptions of an injured pet. Take all the precautions!


Picture of Kevin F.

Kevin F.

Hey guys! I'm Kevin and I'm the Founder of My Dog Reviews. I made this site to share my very own dog's reviews of food, treats, toys, and more. I also have become fascinated with dog breeds and I'm sharing my knowledge with the world. Have a breed, treat, or something you want me to write about? Just let me know!

Leave a Comment