Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Dangers for Gordon Setters

The Christmas season is a wonderful time of year, but it can be dangerous for our pets. Dogs are naturally curious and there are plenty of bright shinny objects to draw their attention. Glass balls, metal ornaments, shinny tinsel, and the little metal hooks are all very dangerous if chewed, eaten, or swallowed. Ribbon and tinsel can cause intestinal blockage. A serious problem that often requires surgery. There's the lights of course, and the electric cord that dogs sometimes like to chew.  These should be hidden from site, or at a level your dog can not reach.

Your Christmas tree itself, is a danger as well. Cedar, Fir, Juniper, Pine, and Balsam, can cause irritation to your dogs mouth and stomach if he eats or chews these. Trees that are purchased commercially, have been treated with  preservatives that can irritate the mouth and stomach, as well as the sap itself. And don't forget the water that sits below your tree, it can be contaminated also. I always tie my tree to something to stabilize it. I have small grandchildren, as well as a Gordon or two running around the house.

Most holiday plants are toxic also.  Poinsettia, mistletoe, hemlock, and holly are all toxic. They can cause vomiting and diarrhea and increased salivation. Dogs can become lethargic and have no appetite. Ingesting hemlock will cause nervousness, trembling, reduced heart rate and potentially paralysis or death.  Keep all of these in a spot where your dog can't get to them.

Snow Globes, not likely to be eaten, but if they are small, your dog might mistake them for a doggie ball. Apparently these are often made with ethylene glycol, the same ingredient in antifreeze. And we know antifreeze is deadly to animals. Not to mention the glass cutting their mouth, gums, and  intestines.

If you have kids in the house, be careful when opening gifts that you don't leave small batteries  or toy parts laying around to temp your dog. They WILL chew it. They are DOGS!

Be safe this holiday season and spend a little extra time to pick up and put up, to keep your furry four legged friend happy and healthy. They rely on us to keep them safe.

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