Choking hazards – lessons learned from Oprah’s dog:
With the recent passing of Oprah’s 2 year-old golden retriever, Gracie, apparently there were actually lessons learned, says Oprah. As her dog walker took the dogs out for an evening walk, Gracie has sadly choked on a light-up ball belonging to Oprah’s cocker spaniel. Almost instantaneously, the ebullient and loving Gracie had passed.
Accidents do happen and sadly Oprah noted in her magazine this was a wake-up call for her fast-paced life as well as the immense loving joy a two year-old dog bestowed upon her in a short amount of time. While this indeed was as choking hazard, here are some other items to keep in mind to prevent tragic accidents from happening in and around your home. One rule of thumb as it relates to preventing choking hazards with your dog is constant supervision.
- If you own more than one pet and have specific toys intended for large animals, keep in mind they may get trapped in the smaller animals’ trachea. One rule of thumb is to treat your pets like toddlers. Would you leave small items within reach for your toddler to grab even if it’s a toy of an older child? Being vigilant and a constant supervisor is imperative as you try to deplete choking hazards from your dog’s environment.
- Do items have missing parts or can they be broken into smaller parts either now or later? It’s important as it relates to toys that they do not have the ability to be torn into smaller objects, thereby blocking the throat.
- Traveling with your dog may be fun however it creates a new set of challenges. Choking hazards in the car as well as hotel room may be the result of access to loose change, small toys, socks, and even bones from treats.
- Puppies often eat whatever they can find such as panty hose, bottoms of curtains, items underneath the bed, etc. In order to decrease choking hazards in the home, it’s important to continuously check the house’s conditions frequently. If curtains have balls at the end of them or decorative ornaments, there may be a possibility they’ll become a threat to choking.
- That said, another way to be vigilant about choking hazards is to also check the toys’ conditions. When originally purchased and played with, your pooch’s favorite toy may be intact. However, if it’s a ball per se and gets chewed up over time, it’s possible the ball gets smaller over time and can get lodged in your dog’s throat.
- Another way to be cognizant is to read labels. This is important whether it’s food labels or instructions of toys. If your dog is particularly small this could become a heightened concern.
- Apparently tougher toys, even chew hooves, will not only become a choking hazard, they’ll create dental problems by broken teeth.
At The Dog Bowl, nothing is more important than your pets’ health and well being. For more information about choking hazards contact your local veterinarian or click here to see questions to ask your veterinarian.