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Every holiday presents dangers for pets. Christmas is no different. You have to be so careful with the tree and the lights. Ornaments look like playthings for cats.

Lets just start with the live tree. It's beautiful in all its glory, but be ever so careful it stays upright! Make sure that you have it firmly anchored. If it falls that means the water is most likely going with it. Water may have fertilizers in it. That can be very dangerous to your pets. They can get really sick to their stomachs. Water that has been sitting for a while can have bacteria that can cause diarrhea and nausea.

Christmas plants When you say Christmas plants, bright red Poinsettias pop up in my mind. They are pretty to look at but don't digest so well for cats and dogs -- they can irritate the mouths and stomachs and cause vomiting. Lilies come in several varieties, and even eating a small amount can cause kidney failure in cats.

Mistletoe One kiss of that and you could possibly be kissing your pet as it's choking. It can cause vomiting and diarrhea as well as difficulty breathing, collapse, erratic behavior, Holly not jolly at all -- intense vomiting, diarrhea and depression.

Deck the halls I saw on Facebook someone had their tree in a huge cage so their cat couldn't get to the bulbs. Not a bad idea! If a cage isn't your thing, try putting the breakable ornaments up high on the tree. You might want to reconsider the tinsel. It is all shiny and bright but it is horrendous for your pets. If your pets eat even a little bit, it can create blockages in their intestines as well as severe vomiting and dehydration.

Hung up on lights Lights add all the color and spirit to a tree but the cords can be shocking to your pet and burn their mouth if they decide to chew on them. Check to make sure nothing is frayed and use a three-prong extension to be safe.

Batteries While they make remote controlled cars go pretty fast, they will slow down your dog or cat by causing chemical burns on the tongue, mouth, muzzle, and stomach.

The smells of the season Liquid potpourri and sachets, popular during the holidays, can be very dangerous. Exposure can cause skin or oral damage to your pet and may cause illness or death.

The final part of preventive care is knowing what to do in an emergency. Do you know where to take your pets when your regular veterinary hospital is closed for a holiday? Do you have the phone number? Here's a number to keep handy: ASPCA poison control, (888) 426-4435.

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