My Dog Ate Artificial Christmas Tree What Should I Do?

Reviewed By Tom •  Updated: 01/08/22 •  3 min read
Dog Moderate Toxicity Level
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Dog Ate Artificial Christmas Tree

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Artificial Christmas trees are popular with many people. They see the use of the tree as more sustainable and eco-friendly than buying a real Christmas tree. However, what happens if a dog happens to eat an artificial Christmas tree? Can the artificial Christmas tree make him sick?

Has your dog eaten an artificial Christmas tree? Are you worried the artificial Christmas tree will make your dog sick? If so, you’ve come to the right place. We understand it can be scary when your dog eats something like this.

We’ve put together information about artificial Christmas trees and whether they can make a dog sick. Let’s get started!

It is strongly recommended to contact a Pet Poison Helpline or your veterinarian.

What is an Artificial Christmas Tree?

An artificial Christmas tree is a fake pine or fir tree that’s manufactured to use as a Christmas tree. The trees have been used for many years. Today, they’re seen, by some, as a way to be more sustainable and eco-friendlier.

During our research, we found the first artificial Christmas trees were created in Germany in the 19th century! The trees were made of goose feathers that were dyed green. The German trees were the German’s response to fight deforestation in their country at the time.

Today’s artificial Christmas trees are made out of PVC plastic. The PVC trees are fire-retardant but not fire-resistant. Many of the trees are made in China. What’s more, it’s even possible to buy a pre-lit or even a pre-lit & decorated artificial Christmas tree!

While artificial Christmas trees are safe when used correctly, what happens if a dog eats part of the tree? Can an artificial Christmas tree make a dog sick?

Artificial Christmas Trees & Dogs

Artificial trees can be beautiful over the holidays. However, what many people don’t realize is that the tree can become brittle over the years. The “needles” on the tree may break off, and the dog may eat them.

Then there are other dogs who eat things just because. Who knows why a dog would want to eat an artificial Christmas tree? It can happen!

The problem is that the artificial Christmas tree parts could lead to a blocked intestine or cause mouth/throat injuries.

Symptoms of Artificial Christmas Tree Ingestion in Dogs

You may notice these symptoms if your dog eats part(s) of an artificial Christmas tree:

You may also notice sores or abrasions in the mouth, or your fur baby could gag if some of the pine tree became lodged in his throat. He could also experience difficulty breathing in that case.

If your dog develops any of these symptoms, call the vet immediately. This is an emergency. Don’t wait to see if your dog’s symptoms improve or worsen. He needs to see the vet now. An intestinal blockage can be life-threatening if not treated.

In most cases, dogs will make a full recovery if they receive fast medical treatment. That’s the key when a dog eats an artificial Christmas tree.

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Tom has always loved to write since he was little - he wanted to be either a writer or a veterinary doctor, but he ended up being a professional writer while most of his works are based on animals. He was born in San Francisco but later moved to Texas to continue his job as a writer. He graduated from the University of San Francisco where he studied biotechnology. He is happily married and a soon to be father!

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