What says Holiday more than a Scottie? Certainly our diehard buddies are the epitome of the Holiday Season! They look fabulous in red; most already come with beards; and who wouldn't want one in their stocking?
However, due to their clever and mischievous minds, certain precautions are a must. First of all, consider the holiday plants we all cherish. Many of them can make our Scotties ill, ranging from mild discomfort or intestinal distress to even fatalities. We also often forget that many of these plants have been treated with pesticides which can also cause health problems.
Two of the most toxic plants are holly and mistletoe; especially the berries of each of these. Even when these berries are dried, they contain toxic substances which are extremely harmful. In large amounts, they can cause symptoms ranging from a sudden and severe drops in blood pressure, hallucinations, seizures and death.
One plant which most of us worry over is the lovely poinsettia. The good news is that the poinsettia is not as toxic as one believed. The leaves and the flowers contain a sap which is extremely irritating to the tissues of the mouth and the esophagus, thus it is unlikely that your pup will eat enough of it to be fatal. However, vomiting and intestinal upset can be common. Poinsettias also are often treated with pesticides, and that can be a much different issue.
The beautiful amaryllis is one of the more dangerous holiday plants. The bulb is considered the most toxic part of the plant. Also popular flower gifts during the holidays are daffodils and lilies. Much like the amaryllis, the bulbs are the most toxic. As most of these flowers are given as gifts, the best place for them to be is far far away from our digging Scotties! Another thing to give thought to is that these three plants are often "forced" into blooming with the bulb exposed. Those gifts most definitely should be well out of reach of our beloved Diehards, and even cats! These are especially toxic to cats (in the event that your Scottie tolerates cats!)
One last thing to think about is our beautiful Christmas tree. While the ornaments and lights can certainly attract our Scotties, especially the ones who like to hide items, (Winston, we won't tell on you, but you know.....), the leaves and needles can cause puncture wounds and upset stomachs if ingested. Another danger is the water that the tree sits in! It is full of bacteria, mold and even chemicals and fertilizers. Please keep that water covered up securely and/or blocked off.
If you suspect your Scottie has ingested any of these items, please consult your vet immediately or the ASPCA Poison Control at 1-888-426-4435 which is available 24 hours a day.
Here's to a safe and happy holiday season to all!
Many thanks to Vickie and Jim Benson, for the picture above of their Abby, who donned her Christmas finery as an Ambassador of our beautiful Scottish Terriers at the Meet the Breed Scottish Terrier Booth at the Royal Canin show in Orlando last week!
Tina and Winston