Chicago vets: Make holidays safe for your pets

CHICAGO – The festive holiday season calls for safety precautions – for your pets as well as children and guests.

The Chicago Veterinary Medical Association is urging pet owners to make their homes pet-friendly during the upcoming season.

Officials say bones from turkey, ham, lamb and other meats can be dangerous. If it's too large or sharp, a bone can damage the intestinal tract and require surgery.

Chocolate – particularly dark or baking chocolate – can be dangerous for dogs, as well as the artificial sweetener Xylitol found in candy and baked goods.

Guests should be advised not to feed pets table scraps. And keep alcoholic beverages away from pets.

Holiday plants such as mistletoe and lilies can be life-threatening to animals. Holly can be toxic.