Be careful about what food you leave in the house this month.
 
During the holiday season many families have larger quantities and more variety of food kicking around. Some can be dangerous to pets.
 
Chocolate is a large risk and is well known to be toxic to dogs. While it can be hidden in wrapping paper under the tree, dogs can smell it and may try to rip through the paper to eat the chocolate.
 
"It's probably toxic to cats as well but they're not as interested in sweets," said Tara Mah, owner of Emerald Hills Veterinary Clinic.
 
Alcohol is dangerous to pets as it can cause issues in their bodies that lead to seizures and respiratory failures. It's important to not only keep an eye on drinks, but also keep pets away from food that could contain alcohol.
 
Fruit cakes are a risk to dogs, specifically the raisins, grapes and currents as they all can cause kidney failure in canines.
 
Meat can be harmful to animals since they often aren't used to the high fat. This can lead to an inflamed pancreas. There is a risk of animals swallowing bones and having those obstruct their intestines.
 
What about treats? Many pet owners give their furry friends new treats around the holidays, which can upset the stomachs of the animals if they aren't used to the food.
 
"Great to try new treats, but maybe just give one or two and not a whole bunch," advised Mah.
 
Registered veterinarian technologist at Emerald Hills Veterinary Clinic, Dana McGowan, also warned about having sugar-free treats treats that contain Xylitol around the house. The chemical is a substitute for sugar in a lot of food but is deadly to animals. Even in very small amount, ingestion can cause life-threatening drops in glucose and liver failure.

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