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Pet Safe Tips for the Holidays

The holiday season is upon us, and many pet parents plan to include their furry companions in the festivities. As most of us will be lying low this year and doing more at home, it's important to remember to keep your holiday as safe as possible for your pet.

Fallen Christmas Tree Needles
Clean up Christmas tree needles regularly as they be sharp and easily get stuck in your pet's paws or throat.

Tinsel-less Town
Kitties love this sparkly, light-catching "toy" that's easy to bat around and carry in their mouths. But a nibble can lead to a swallow, which can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting, dehydration and possible surgery. It's best to brighten your boughs with something other than tinsel.

Havin' a Bauble
Baubles are often seen as potential play things. Try to use unbreakable decorations and nothing too small!

Avoid Mistletoe & Holly
Holly, when ingested, can cause pets to suffer nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems. And many varieties of lilies can cause kidney failure in cats if ingested. Opt for just-as-jolly artificial plants made from silk or plastic, or choose a pet-safe bouquet.

That Holiday Glow
Don't leave lighted candles unattended. Pets may burn themselves or cause a fire if they knock candles over. Be sure to use appropriate candle holders, placed on a stable surface. And if you leave the room, put the candle out!

Wired Up
Keep wires, batteries and glass or plastic ornaments out of paws' reach. A wire can deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock and a punctured battery can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus, while shards of breakable ornaments can damage your pet's mouth and digestive tract.

Oh, Christmas Tree
Securely anchor your Christmas tree so it doesn't tip and fall, causing possible injury to your pet. This will also prevent the tree water, which may contain fertilizers that can cause stomach upset, from spilling. Stagnant tree water is a breeding ground for bacteria, and your pet could end up with nausea or diarrhea.