Here are the pet proof christmas tree we’ll be covering:
- Nearly Natural Wyoming Alpine Artificial Christmas Tree
- Vickerman Natural Alpine Artificial Christmas Tree Set
- Northlight Fairbanks Alpine Artificial Christmas Tree
- National Tree Company Pre-lit Artificial Mini Christmas Tree
- Fun!: Vickerman Upside Down Hanging Christmas Tree
While the winter holiday season is one of the most joyous times of the year, it can be incredibly stressful for those who are trying to keep their holiday decorations safe from their pets.
Christmas trees in particular provide a buffet of excitement for cats and dogs, from the lights and ornaments dangling invitingly from the branches to the well of water submerging the trunk of a live tree. If you worry about your pet’s safety and your own sanity when December rolls around, we have some tips to help you set up a pet proof Christmas tree.
If you have an animal that views the Christmas tree as a toy, you may want to opt for an artificial tree. These trees tend to be lighter than real evergreens, which makes them less dangerous if they get tipped over. They are also much safer if ingested than real pine needles. Try to choose a smaller tree, especially if you have a cat that likes to climb so that there is less likelihood of damage or injury if the tree tips over.
Regardless of the type of tree you choose, you will want to try to keep the bottom of the tree as plain and boring as possible to discourage your pet from trying to play with it. Choose a tree, if possible, with a long exposed trunk at the base so that there are few branches within reach of your dog or cat. Leave the bottom branches free of lights and decorations so that your pet is not able to reach anything and swipe it off or get caught on it. Be sure to choose a sturdy base for the tree that is not prone to tipping easily.
When decorating, choose shatter-resistant ornaments, particularly for the lower branches of the tree. This way, if anything gets knocked off, it will not get ruined and you will not risk injury to you or your pet. You can also make the decorations harder to pull off by securing them tightly against the tree branch by tying them on tightly.
When purchasing a pre-lit tree, look for options that have the wires fed through the center pole of the tree. This will reduce opportunities for you pet to get caught in the light strands or to injure themselves by biting through or knocking the tree over.
A final option is to consider a tree that hangs from the ceiling. While a bit unconventional, this option reduces the likelihood of the tree getting knocked over and your pets getting injured or scared when they jump on it or get caught in it. You will want to be sure that you choose a tree that is not too tall and that it is mounted securely to the wall or ceiling.
Our recommendations for a pet proof christmas tree
If you have decided to purchase a new tree to better meet the safety needs of your pet and family, these are our top 5 recommendations based on the features that they offer. Additionally, we have included two stands to help these or any tree that you purchase to stand up to your curious pets.
While this tree is very tall, it is designed with a long exposed trunk section at the bottom so that the first row of branches is high off of the floor. The tree also has a very slim silhouette. Both of these features help to make it hard for your pets to access or gain purchase on the branches, lowering the risk of the tree falling over.
The trunk is attached to a metal base so that you do not need to purchase a stand separately. However, the flat-bottomed stand is not very wide, which can potentially lead to the tree tipping if it gets knocked into.
The tree uses a lighting system that is wire-free and runs through the trunk, making it exceptionally safe for your pets. However, the tree also has fake pine cones throughout the branches, which could further entice your pet and make them ill if ingested.
Pros: lowest branch is high off of the ground, wire-free lighting system
Cons: slim base, fake pine cones
This purchase includes 3 trees of varying heights that can be used all together in one space or individually through different rooms in your home. The trees have a realistic look to them with an uneven and textured trunk and asymmetrical branches. There is a very large space between the base and the lowest branch which prevents your pets from gaining access to decorations.
The trees come in pieces and require assembly. They do not always go together seamlessly which can affect the aesthetic. Strands of lights are not included, which leads to additional costs to decorate your trees.
A metal base is included with the tree purchase and sits flat on the ground to keep the tree stabilized. The trees are lightweight and easy to carry, store and move.
Pros: realistic look, high bottom branch to discourage pets
Cons: lights are not included, trees may not assemble correctly
For a more classic style than the previous options, this Christmas tree has a traditional full shape and height. With a sizable gap between the ground and the lowest branch, this tree gives enough clearance to prevent pets from having an easy reach. The trunk is thin which also discourages pets from climbing, but appears less authentic than other products.
The tree comes apart into three different pieces for easy storage when not in use. The parts are easy to put together and disassemble. Additionally, a metal base is included for stability to help keep your pets from knocking it over.
Strands of incandescent mini-bulbs are pre-strung on the tree. The bulbs are designed to be easily replaced and for the other lights to remain on if one goes out. The tree does come in at a much higher price point than other trees on the list, which could cross it off your list if your budget is tighter.
Pros: prelit with easily replaceable bulbs, easy to assemble and store
Cons: expensive compared to other options, lights do not run through the trunk
For a smaller option that could be used on a tabletop to reduce pet access to it, consider this mini tree. Available in either 2 or 4 feet, the tree has a very realistic look and the bottom is encompassed in a rustic burlap covering that eliminates the need to purchase a stand or cover.
The tree is pre-lit with strings of lights that are embedded into the branches. Completely fire-resistant materials are used to ensure that the warmth of the lights does not ignite the tree.
For a small tree, it can take a while to position the branches out of the box or storage. Additionally, the tree is not as heavy and sturdy as a larger tree, and could get knocked off of a low table if pushed by your cat or nudged by your dog.
Pros: can be placed on a tabletop out of reach of your pet, realistic looking
Cons: easy to knock over, takes a lot of time to completely fluff the branches
If you are interested in an upside down option to solve your struggles with your pets, considered this Christmas tree. Measuring 6 feet tall, a hanging chain is included to suspend the tree from the ceiling. The tree is available in half width for hanging flat against the wall, or as a full tree if you plan to hang it in the middle of a room or doorway.
You will need more know-how and tools to put this product up than a standard tree since it needs to be anchored properly to safely remain in place. You may need to add additional supports if using the full tree to ensure that it remains in place and does not fall. Also, hanging ornaments from the tree can be more precarious due to the direction of the branches.
The tree is pre-lit and is offered in 3 different color schemes for lighting. The strands are designed to keep bulbs lit when one goes out which prevents dark patches on your tree. The tree is also coated in a UV resistant finish that protects it from fading in the sunlight.
Pros: can be hung out of reach of pets, pre-lit with different color options
Cons: may be difficult to hang safely, can require special ornaments
In the event that you decide to proceed with a real evergreen or want a sturdier base for your artificial tree, check out these stands. Each provides additional stability to keep your tree safe from your pet.
This dog proof Christmas tree stand uses a pump action lever to easily secure your tree trunk and then engage a lock to keep it there. Offered in 3 sizes, the stand you need is based on the width of the trunk and the height of the tree. A well in the middle holds more than a gallon of water and the opening is tapered to keep snouts out. There is a floating meter inside that indicates the water level to help you keep a sufficient amount in there for your real Christmas tree.
For a more traditional screw-in style stand, this Goliath product will keep your tree upright and away from your pets. Able to support live trees up to 16 feet tall, the steel screws ensure that the trunks will not move at all. The tall reservoir holds nearly 2 gallons of water to keep your evergreen hydrated without allowing your pets to drink it or knock it over.
Other considerations for pet proofing your christmas tree
No matter what type of tree or stand that you buy, a very determined pet may accept the additional challenge and persist with climbing aboard or exploring it. Cats in particular often cannot help themselves and may tirelessly pursue their goal of conquering the tree. There are several things that you can do though to keep them and your tree safe.
Help desensitize your cat to the tree by letting him explore the bare tree for a few days before adding your ornaments. Place the tree away from any jump zones that allow your cat to easily soar onto it from a desk or table. Be sure to avoid hanging tinsel or any other adornments that can easily be pulled down or ingested by your cat.
In addition to causing general mischief through curiosity, you may find your cat trying to eat your Christmas tree. In case you need more incentive to opt for an artificial tree, pine needles from live trees can be toxic and puncture your cat’s intestines.
Do not fear, though, there are several ways to deter your cat. Create an uncomfortable texture at the base of the tree using aluminum foil, which most cats dislike the feel of. You can also create a citrus spray that your cat will likely be averse to using water and orange, substituting citronella and lemongrass if needed. You can even place orange slices around the base of the tree.
If you are looking for a more creative, funny or out-of-the-box solution for keeping your pets away from the tree, consider their aversions or items that will draw clear boundaries. Placing vacuum cleaners in front of the tree will make your skittish pup leery of moving closer.
Wrapping the tree in cling wrap will let you admire your ornaments while preventing your pets from getting to them. If all else fails, a cage or other piece of furniture will provide a clear physical barrier that prevents your pet from gaining access.