As you're out picking up Christmas gifts for your beloved pets, don't be fooled by the cuteness of one particular "treat" you'll probably see in every single store...It could be deadly for your dog!

A Raunchy Rawhide Problem

When my husband and I adopted our first dogs, I bought them the cutest little rawhide bones for Christmas. They were red and green and shaped like candy canes, kind of like these rawhides that are available on Amazon...

On Christmas morning the dogs were ecstatic and couldn't wait to chew their new bones, so that is exactly what we let them do when we left to go celebrate with our families. Let's just say we were totally unprepared for the mess we were about to come to.

Without getting into too many nasty details, I'll just say we had a major mess of bodily functions to clean up when we got home and had to smell HORRIBLE gas for several days afterward. I may have learned the hard way that rawhide bones are bad for dogs, but I didn't realize they could be deadly too!

Rawhide Alternatives For Your Dog

Ever since we experienced the great Chrismas Poo Debacle, we have given our dogs who like to chew either Nylabones, deer antlers, or Kongs that they can't destroy in a few hours. (See more safe alternatives to rawhide bones, here).

If you're looking for a truly healthy and delicious treat to give your pets this Christmas, go to a legit pet supply store or your vet's office. You might pay a little more, but it will be nothing close to what those $1 rawhide chews could cost you if something happens to your beloved dog.

LOOK: Here Are 30 Foods That Are Poisonous to Dogs

To prepare yourself for a potential incident, always keep your vet's phone number handy, along with an after-hours clinic you can call in an emergency. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center also has a hotline you can call at (888) 426-4435 for advice.

Even with all of these resources, however, the best cure for food poisoning is preventing it in the first place. To give you an idea of what human foods can be dangerous, Stacker has put together a slideshow of 30 common foods to avoid. Take a look to see if there are any that surprise you.

Check out these 50 fascinating facts about dogs:

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