Holiday Pet Dangers

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Knoxville (WVLT) - This time of year, many of you are decking your halls and the rest of your house for Christmas.

But as Volunteer TV's Stacy McCloud explains, what's filling your home with holiday cheer could also be very dangerous, even deadly, for your pets.

If your animals getting sick is just as much of a tradition as decorating your tree, your holiday decor could be to blame.

"A lot of animals getting into things they shouldn't. Strings on packages, tensile on trees," explains Dr. Kelley Thieman, a small animal veterinarian.

For cats, the shiny stuff is really appealing and the result if they ingest too much, is also really serious.

"The string can act like a little saw as their guts try to move it through and it can saw through their intestines," says Dr. Thieman.

It's not just the traditional decor like presents under the tree, ornaments, and lights either.

The tree itself, if real, can actually be toxic.

"Your pets might want a drink from the bottom of that water you have your tree in and fertilizers can get in there".

Speaking of toxic, poinsettias may come to mind. While the traditional holiday flower may not be good for your dog or cat, it's usually not deadly either, but there is at least one holiday flower that is.

"Lilies. They can be really toxic to cats they can cause renal failure or kidney damage," Dr. Thieman says.

Aside from the lights and trees, holiday food reactions are the second problem vets see.

Most things will just cause stomach irritation, but any fatty food or bones from things like your turkey should never be allowed, and an even bigger "no", the chocolate treats in your candy dish or baked goods.

Also making the list are raisins, onions and garlic. Small essentials that you may need to spice up your holiday meal, but spell big trouble for your pets.

If you think your pet may have swallowed any of your holiday decorations watch for any unusual symptoms and call your vet or an emergency clinic immediately.

For more on what could be toxic to your pets, go to