For years there has been a debate on the pros and cons of a real Christmas tree versus a fake one.

This year, one Cochrane family learned of one of the hidden hazards of real trees.

Upon bringing the tree home they discovered a tick. 

They affectionately named it "Fred," and brought it to the Cochrane Animal Clinic.

Hailey George, Animal Health Technologist with the Airdrie Animal Clinic, says these things do happen. 

"I wouldn't say that we this very often but if you are picking your tree up from a tree lot or cut one down from the wild there is a chance of them carrying ticks around."

She advises to give trees a good shake outside before you bring them into your home.

If you have pets in the home it is important to check them for ticks as well. 

"Make sure you feel all-around your pet's neck area and in the deep fur, feel around for lumps or bumps. If you do find one it is not recommended that you pull it yourself but if you do make sure to use tweezers and get the entire body and head"

If you do find a tick it is important to have it tested for diseases such as lime.