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How to Keep Your Dog Away From the Christmas Tree: 10 Easy Tips

Written by: Rachael Gerkensmeyer

Last Updated on April 12, 2024 by Dogster Team

Brown dog biting christmas balls

How to Keep Your Dog Away From the Christmas Tree: 10 Easy Tips

Setting up the Christmas tree is always a fun and exciting time. The tree helps set the tone for the holiday season and keeps everyone in the household in good spirits. However, it can be dangerous to have dogs around Christmas trees. Your dog may knock your tree over, ruining it and everything that it has been decorated with. They themselves could also be harmed by the tree. The tree may fall on top of them, causing injury, or the ornaments and pine needles can be eaten by your dog and damage their gastrointestinal tract.

Therefore, it’s important to take steps that will help keep your dog away from your Christmas tree throughout the holiday season. Here are a few different ways to do just that.

Top 10 Tips to Keep Your Dog Away From the Christmas Tree

1. Avoid Glittery and Shiny Decorations

Most dogs are attracted to shiny and glittery things, and many Christmas tree decorations tend to be both. It is a good idea to avoid using these types of decorations so your tree is less attractive to your dog overall, and they’ll be less likely to try messing with it. This is not to say that your tree has to be unattractive to the humans in the household. There are several types of ornaments that are beautiful yet lack the features that dogs like the most.

2. Take Focus Off the Bottom of the Tree

If your dog can reach ornaments and other goodies on the tree, they will likely try to do so and chomp down on whatever they can. By leaving the bottom quarter of the tree free of ornaments, your dog will be less likely to go nosing around. The lights on the tree can help keep the bottom of it from looking too empty compared to the rest of the tree.

Gifts under christmas tree
Image Credit: Deena, Pexels

3. Keep the Base of the Tree Clean

Fallen pine needles, ornaments, and other tree items can quickly become interesting to your dog. They are likely to grab the fallen items and take them away to a corner for closer inspection. Therefore, you should spend time cleaning up everything from underneath the tree each morning and keep an eye on rogue fallen needles and items throughout the day. If there is nothing on the floor for your dog to pick up, they and your tree will be safer until the season ends.

4. Create a Tinfoil Tree Skirt

Most dogs do not like tinfoil, especially if they walk on it, because it’s such a strange surface to them. It feels weird to their paws, and the intense sheen of the foil can make them nervous. Therefore, the typical dog will avoid getting on (or even near) tinfoil when it is laying on the ground. Using tinfoil to create a skirt for your tree should help ward off your dog and keep them from getting too close.

Christmas composition with wooden toy rocking horse
Image Credit: IgorAleks, Shutterstock

5. Utilize a Deterrent Spray

A great way to keep your dog from getting near your Christmas tree is to spray a dog-deterrent solution on it. You should not be able to smell the spray, so nobody but your dog will ever know that it is there. Deterrent sprays like Don’t Chew Dare! have a bitter taste, so one nibble on your tree should keep them from coming back again.

6. Set a Bell Trap

If you want to catch your dog messing with the Christmas tree so you can correct their behavior, consider hanging bells along the bottom branches of the tree. The bells should ring whenever your dog gets too close, so you can get into the room and address the situation promptly. This option may not work if you have young kids in the house, as the kids will likely make the bells ring much more often!

Corgi Sitting Beside Christmas Presents
Image Credit: Julia Volk, Pexels

7. Set Up a Dog Baby Gate

Setting up a dog or baby gate around your Christmas tree will inhibit your view of the tree but will ensure that your dog cannot get too close to it at any time. You may need to connect two or three gates to cover the distance from one wall to another while still leaving space for gifts under and around the tree.

8. Use Presents as Protection

If your dog is not interested in trying to rip presents open, you can use large gifts as a wall to protect your tree. If you don’t have any such presents, consider wrapping a few empty boxes in wrapping paper for a holiday effect and then lining the boxes around the tree for extra protection.

Dog beside christmas tree
Image Credit: Maximiliano Pinilla, Pexels

9. Keep Toys and Bedding Away From the Tree

If you expect your dog to stay away from your tree, you should make sure none of their bedding or toys are anywhere nearby. Anything of theirs that gets too close to the tree can encourage them to get underneath the tree or get so close that their tail bangs against it. Keep your dog’s belongings on the other side of the room or out of the area altogether.

10.  Work on Training

You can always train your dog to stay away from the Christmas tree, so you don’t have to use any other tactics or sacrifice your favorite decorations. If your dog is obedience trained, the process shouldn’t be tough; it’s just a matter of teaching them not to go near the tree. Distracting your dog from the tree and rewarding them when they walk away is a great start to training. The idea is to ultimately create an invisible boundary around your tree that your dog respects and never crosses. You can use a clicker and/or treats to make the process easier.

Woman giving treat to dog
Image Credit: Hrecheniuk Oleksii, Shutterstock



Keeping your dog away from the Christmas tree is no small feat, but it isn’t impossible. Patience and creativity can go a long way. You may have to employ multiple tactics to get the results that you’re looking for, but don’t give up. Be prepared to lose a few ornaments along the way, though!

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Featured Image Credit: dezy, Shutterstock

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