By Nan Talleno

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – With the holidays just weeks away, it’s a busy time so it’s way too easy to miss those holiday hazards that could be lurking around your pet. There are a few things to be aware of as you decorate in order to keep your companion animals safe this holiday season.

Deck the halls but be careful of those boughs of holly. They could be dangerous! Holiday plants may be beautiful to look at but they can be extremely dangerous to your pets if even small parts of these plants are ingested. Mistletoe, Holly berries and Poinsettias can be highly toxic to both dogs and cats, and can produce gastrointestinal disorders and cardiovascular problems. To be safe, keep all plants out of every paw’s reach.

Keep all ribbon, string, tinsel and icicles away from your pets. If ingested they can all potentially cause severe and dangerous blockage as well as intestinal problems. Keep all candles and lighted decorations out of reach and never leave lit candles unattended.

Keep all small items such as small decorations and tree ornaments, replacement string light bulbs, ornament hooks, thumb tacks – anything that your pet can put into his/her mouth – out of your pets view as these objects can be easily swallowed and can create a choking hazard. Keep all treats like candy canes and chocolates as well as all sweets in general, out of sight too.

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