(Nexstar)- Christmas is a time to indulge, celebrate, and have some fun. But some of the things we enjoy every holiday season could pose a threat for our four-legged friends- everything from toxic foods to dangerous seasonal plants. 

Area veterinarians say they see an increase in emergency visits during the festive season. To ensure your furry friends remain safe this year, here are a few things every animal lover needs to know. 

Dangerous food and drink

If your holiday table is overflowing with chocolates, artificial sweeteners, onions, garlic, grapes, raisins, or alcohol, take care to keep those treats away from your pets. These things are toxic to animals and may cause a host of digestive issues, seizures, heart problems, and even death. In general, leftovers should be kept away from your pets, but you can feed them a few things:

  • Turkey meat (no skin or bones)
  • Salmon 
  • Lamb (no bones)
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Peas
  • Mashed potatoes (but be mindful of the butter)
  • Sweet potatoes

Christmas plants

Poinsettias, holly, mistletoe, Christmas trees, and ivy can all cause problems such as digestive issues and skin irritation for pets. It is best to keep these festive plants away from your four-legged family members. 

“Unfortunately, it’s some of the prettier ones that we use at Christmas. Like, holly can be bad for dogs, as well as mistletoe and poinsettias. So, most of our Christmas plants we have to be cautious of. The good thing is, I don’t think most animals love the way those taste, but it’s probably a better idea…to be cognitive of that and just make sure they’re not chewing on those things,” said Veterinarian Dr. Becky Battershell, owner of Angel Veterinarian Clinic.

Other hazards

If eaten, silca gel from gift boxes, wrapping paper, Christmas decorations, and potpourri can make your furry friend sick with digestive issues for a few days, and in some cases, may cause stomach or bowel obstructions.

When in doubt, if your pet becomes sick after a big holiday celebration, reach out to your trusted veterinarian for guidance.