For most of us, the holiday season means shiny Christmas decorations, beautifully wrapped presents and a delectable selection of tasty holiday treats. In the midst of all the seasonal cheer, it is important to look out for your pets, as they are many new dangers they face during the holiday season.

A Christmas tree filled with fragile ornaments and fairy lights will be extremely tempting for cats that love to climb. If the tree is not properly secured, the tree may end up toppling over, which may result in damaged furniture and an injured cat. Sharp ornaments can be dangerous to pets if they have a habit of batting at dangling objects. Glass ornaments can also be hazardous if your pet decides to knock it onto the floor and chew on it. Keep Christmas light wires covered or concealed as cats and dogs may see these as an ideal chew toy, running the risk of getting electrocuted.

Common holiday plants like mistletoe and holly berries are known to be toxic to pets. Lilies, which are used sometimes in floral decorations, can cause kidney failure in cats. Other decorations like ribbons or wrapping paper are also harmful when ingested as it can cause internal obstruction. Candles are also a popular decoration choice around this time of the year. Animals are naturally attracted to bright lights so keep candles on high surfaces so your pets cannot get to them or knock them over.

Even though it may be tempting to share food with your pets during this time, you should refrain from doing so. A change of diet, even for one meal, can cause indigestion for your dog or cat. Make sure garbage bags are securely tied and placed in an area where your pets cannot get to it. Spicy or fatty food can give your pet an upset stomach and bones can cause blockages or choking. If you are planning on having alcoholic beverages, do make sure you keep it out of your pet's reach. Alcohol makes animals extremely sick and weak. Holiday candy and chocolate should never be given to your pets. Chocolate and raisins contain a substance that is potentially deadly to dogs and cats. Other food like walnuts, macadamia nuts, onions and coffee can also be harmful.

During this time, you may have many guests over for Christmas parties or dinners. If your pet is timid or very young, do make sure that you place your pet in a quiet area or room. This will prevent it from feeling overwhelmed and stressed out. Also ensure that your pet is given an ID tag with your contact details, in case it gets lost.

The holiday season is an exciting time for all of us, but it's important to keep a look up for our furry friends as well. This will ensure that both you and your pets will have a great time this holiday season.