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      Before decking the halls, keep your furry friends in mind

      The holiday season is in full-swing and many like to celebrate this time of year by decorating their homes.

      However, the same trees, candles, and ornaments you adorn your house with can also pose several hazards to your pets.

      According to David Staats, who owns two dogs, the Christmas tree tops his list of decorations to be careful of.

      "You've got to keep your dogs away from the tree. Their tail could knock things off the tree and knock it somewhere you wouldn't notice it. And they could pick it up and go chew on it somewhere," Staats said.

      VCA Animal Hospital Medical Director Dr. Laura Berger-Bishop told WPDE NewsChannel 15, items that hang on the tree, particularly tinsel and other string-like objects can cause major internal damage to dogs and cats.

      "This string-like object will actually get stuck someplace, sometimes even caught up in the back of the tongue and then it extends down into the gut and the normal peristalsis will actually cause the intestines to sort of get 'accordioned-up' and then the string will tend to saw through the walls of the gut," Dr. Berger-Bishop said.

      When this type of internal damage happens, pets will oftentimes need surgery, which can carry a hefty price tag for owners.

      Dr. Berger-Bishop also identified electrical cords, poisonous holiday flower arrangements like poinsettias, and any dcor that's shiny and sparkly, to be problematic, as far as decorations go.

      She advises to keep decorations, such as the items listed above, out of your pet's reach.

      However, foods and sweet treats consumed by people around the holidays are also hazardous to pets.

      Dr. Berger-Bishop said she sees a lot of pets in her office around the holidays that have consumed too much chocolate and discourages people from feeding pets any rich foods.

      And the guests that you invite over to your house to dine and enjoy your dcor can also put additional stress on your pets, so also be mindful of that, too, she also advised.

      Here is a useful resource for pet owners. Here they will be able to find a guide to pet safety, as well as a complete list of poisonous substances to your pets.