Page name: Safety At Christmas [Logged in view] [RSS]
2009-07-09 02:13:30
Last author: sequeena_rae
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Safety At Christmas


Christmas is a wonderful time of year for you and your dogs. Please bear these tips in mind, you do not want an emergency trip to the vets and I'm sure your vet will be less than impressed with you.

If you have an open fire, always use a fire guard. Your tree on fire is one thing, your GSD on fire is another. Be aware of hot radiators too, dogs are like moths in a sense, they're attracted to warmth.


The following items are dangerous to your dog: Chocolate, grapes and raisins. Turkey bones, and cooked bones in general, may become lodged in your GSD's throat and splinter. Onions can cause anaemia so do not give your GSD any in any form.

Chocolate contains the substance theobromine which can be lethal. The darker the chocolate the more theobromine it contains. Contact your vet immediately if you suspect your dog has eaten human chocolate and is exhibiting any of these signs: Vomiting, sore abdomen, excessive thirst, excitability, drooling, slow heart rate or convulsions.

Some people think it's nice or cute to give their GSD a little Christmas dinner of his/her own. It's not. Your GSD will not be used to this type of rich food and it could upset his stomach giving him runny poos for a good few days. This is a no brainer but don't give your dog any alcohol. It's not funny that Bozo likes to lick lager, it's dangerous and could prove fatal.

Anti Freeze. The stuff you put in your car. To a dog, it's sweet, smells lovely and it's totally drinkable. Wrong. Anti freeze contains a substance called Ethylene Glycol which is fatal to both dogs and cats. If your GSD has ingested any Anti Freeze they will exhibit symptoms such as staggering movements, tiredness, increased heart rate, continuous vomiting and dehydration. Seek vet treatment immediately.

You may have a lot of visitors at Christmas. Make sure they close the front door or your GSD could run off, get lost or even worse, get run over and cause a traffic accident!

When you have visitors over always ensure your dog does not feel threatened by new people, especially children. Keep an eye on him/her and provide a quiet place where he/she can retreat to. Scared dogs may bite - intentionally or not. Always teach children how to act around your GSD.

Dogs are like babies. They like routine. If their routine is upset they may become distressed. Christmas is a busy time but always feed and walk your GSD at the same times as usual. Set aside some time to play with your GSD. Don't forget him/her in all the excitement!

Keep your GSD out of the kitchen when you're cooking. He/She may get under your feet and you could end up hurting yourself and your dog.

Don't leave anything sharp lying around. Dogs have been known to swallow all sorts of things ranging from needles to knives!

Make sure everyone in your family knows pet first aid, where the first aid kit is kept and how to contact the vet.


Airway. Make sure your GSD can breathe properly and that there are no obstructions in its airway. Common obstructions are bones, toys, and stones. Vomiting and swelling can also obstruct the airway.
Always be careful when doing anything with your GSD's mouth. If he/she is in pain they may bite you and cause injury. Carefully open his/her mouth and check if there is any blockage. If there is, try to pull it out using a blunt implement such as the handle of a spoon. If you can do this pull your dog's head back so the neck is straight and pull out the tongue.

Breathing. Check your GSD is breathing by watching his/her chest and place your hand by its nostrils to check for air flow.
If he/she is not breathing, place your hands on either side of his/her chest and compress.

Circulation. If your GSD's brain is starved of oxygen because of poor circulation they will collapse and death could follow very quickly. Poor blood flow could indicate the heart has stopped or that there is internal or external bleeding. If bleeding is severe the gums will be pale. To check whether your GSD's heart is beating put your hand over its chest, just under its elbows and you should be able to feel a heartbeat.

If the heart has stopped the chance of restarting is minimal and your GSD may have already suffered brain damage. If your GSD's pupils are very large and do not respond to light the outlook is poor. You can attempt to restart the heart by going back to the same place beneath the elbows and squeeze hard at about 80-100 times a minute.

If your dog is bleeding apply pressure to the point of bleeding. The bleeding should stop at once. Seek veterinary help immediately.

If you are going away for Christmas please make sure your dogs have somewhere safe to stay whether it is with family, friends, or a good boarding kennel.



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