We have now entered a potentially dangerous time period for our four-legged family members. The holiday season brings out all sorts of dangers for dogs and cats.

According to Nationwide, the four days surrounding Christmas Day and New Year's Day last season, pet owners took their dogs and cats to the veterinarian more often than the rest of the year to treat holiday medical problems.

Here are the things to be aware of when it comes to your pets making it safely through the holidays.
Tinsel and ornaments...tinsel is that once it’s consumed, it can cause serious injury to your pet. If not caught in time, this foreign body ingestion could actually be fatal as it twists and bunches inside your pet’s intestines. Pets can chew and swallow ornaments and not only can broken pieces form sharp edges that may lacerate your pet’s mouth, throat and intestines, they could also create a choking hazard.
Holiday lighting and candles...electrical shock may occur when a pet chomps down on an electrical cord, causing tongue lacerations and possible death. Check your holiday lights for signs of fraying or chewing and use a grounded three-prong extension cord as a safety precaution. Candles should be put in a hard-to-reach spot so that your pets can not access them. Not only can pets seriously burn themselves, but knocking over candles creates a fire hazard and may leave a trail of hot wax that will easily burn the pads of paws and more.
Ribbon...immediately get rid of ribbon and bows so that your pet won’t be want to chew or swallow them. Ingested ribbon can cause a choking hazard and ultimately twist throughout the intestines, leading to emergency surgery and even death.
Food Hazards...chocolate, bones and nuts, can be extremely toxic or fatal to pets. Chocolates contain various levels of fat, caffeine and the substance methylxanthine. In general, the darker and richer the chocolate, the higher the risk of toxicity. Depending on the type and amount of chocolate ingested, dogs might experience vomiting, diarrhea, urination, hyperactivity, heart arrhythmias, tremors and seizures.
Fat trimmings and bones are dangerous for pets. Bones can splinter and cause an obstruction or lacerations of your dog's digestive system.
Certain nuts should not be given to pets. Almonds, non-moldy walnuts and pistachios can cause an upset stomach or an obstruction of your dog's throat and/or intestinal tract. Macadamia nuts and moldy walnuts can be toxic, causing seizures or neurological signs. Lethargy, vomiting and loss of muscle control are among the effects of nut ingestion.

Toxic Holiday Plants...some holiday plants are poisonous—even deadly. As little as a single leaf from any lily variety is lethal to cats. Christmas tree pine needles can produce oral irritation, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, trembling and posterior weakness.
Holly, commonly found during the Christmas season, can cause intense vomiting, diarrhea and depression. Mistletoe, another Christmas plant, can cause significant vomiting and diarrhea, difficulty breathing, collapse, erratic behavior, hallucinations and death when ingested. Poinsettia, contrary to popular belief, is not deadly; however, it can cause irritation to the mouth and stomach and sometimes vomiting if a large quantity has been consumed.

Take the time to make sure this will be a safe and healthy holiday for your critters.

Source: Nationwide