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Making sure pets don't get sick from holiday treats

11:12 PM, Dec 6, 2010   |    comments
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"The biggest risk to pets during the holidays is all of the stuff they might eat," ASPCA Veterinarian Louise Murray said.

Greasy, rich foods and meat bones are dangerous for our animals - so is chocolate.

"Chocolate is very, very dangerous," Murray said. "The smaller the dog, the worse it can be."

Put boxes of chocolate, treats and baked goods containing cocoa in a safe place.

Dogs also love to crunch those shiny glass ornaments that hang on Christmas trees, and cats are especially attracted to tinsel and other shiny decorations, so plan accordingly.

"Tinsel, ribbons, yarn - cats love to eat these kinds of objects and unfortunately they can often become tangled in their intestines. This requires emergency surgery," Murray said.

Kittens and puppies also like twinkling lights and electrical cords, so decorate with care.

The holidays are the time to give, and it's certainly fun to give your furry friends a gift, however experts say be smart and safe.

"If there's parts of the toys that they can rip off and chew up or swallow, that's something you want to be careful about," Murray said.

Many of us like to have special plants and flower arrangements in our homes at holiday time.

Most pet owners know that poinsettias can give animals an upset stomach, but lilies and mistletoe are actually much bigger threats, so keep them well out of reach.

When in doubt, common sense and thoughtful decorating can help avoid emergency trips to the vet, thus ensuring happy holidays for you and your furry friends.

(Copyright © 2010 NBC Universal, All Rights Reserved)

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