Walking your dog

During the holidays, we eat some of the food that we love most. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve in particular are holidays in which people are known to gorge themselves on rich food — and that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as long as you limit yourself to some degree! The more concerning issue is the fact that lots of people find themselves sharing their holiday foods with their dogs. At first glance, this is understandable — 46.3 million American households have a dog, after all, which equals out to 37-47% of American households total. That’s a lot of dog owners out there, and most of them love their dogs almost like they’re their children. But while you may love your dog like you would a human child, dogs have very different dietary needs, and most holiday foods are either not healthy for them, or outright harmful. We’re all concerned about our pets — from pet care to popular pet names, we want to give them the best. But in the holidays, those rich foods can be downright hazardous, whether intentionally given or not. Below, we’ll look into some of the foods you should probably make sure your dog avoids.

1. Chocolate

A lot of people know now that chocolate isn’t good for dogs — but they might not understand the extent to which chocolate is harmful for dogs, and the consequences of letting your dog have some. Chocolate is toxic in a dog’s system; it might not be literal poison, but it’s certainly not good for them. A very small amount of chocolate might not appear to visibly affect your dig at first, but it can certainly cause an upset stomach at the least, and more serious issues later. Often, a dog that eats too much chocolate has to have its stomach pumped — and very small or young dogs can even die as a result of chocolate consumption. So if you’re looking to get a new puppy around the holidays, you might want to take your mind off of searching for popular pet names for a moment and focus on locking up that holiday candy.

2. Macadamia Nuts

While chocolate may be more commonly known as a toxic substance for dogs, many aren’t aware of the risks that macadamia nuts present. Unfortunately, right around the holidays, macadamia nuts are often combined with chocolate in cookies. Just six macadamia nuts can seriously compromise your dog’s health, and when combined with chocolate, they can be fatal. It’s estimated that the U.S. spends about $13.59 on vet care each year — don’t let yourself become one of the many people who have to rush their dog to the vet because of macadamia nuts.

3. Grapes

Grapes are often included in holiday fruit baskets, seen as healthier alternatives to cookies and candies. Of course, dogs like to get into things they shouldn’t, and exciting arrangements like these can attract dogs easily. Unfortunately, grapes and raisins are highly toxic for dogs, causing vomiting and even kidney failure, which can lead to death. So, put down that book of popular pet names and ensure that your holiday fruit basket is put away before you get your new dog.

4. Alcohol

Smaller dogs in particular are popular holiday gifts — and of course, it’s important to know that while activities like choosing popular pet names or taking pictures with your new dog are exciting, a dog is a lifelong commitment, and smaller dogs in particular can be susceptible to certain problems. Some people innocently try to joke around by giving their dog a small amount of alcohol. Alcohol is very bad for any dog, but it’s even more harmful to small dogs, who can experience negative symptoms very quickly, and even die.

Pets

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